I thought I’d check in, because I had aimed to finish the rough draft of my debut novel today.
Turns out I beat this deadline by quite a few weeks (I finished back on 26th Oct), and today I reached my next milestone – I finished the 2nd draft – and it’s taken just 20 days!
Sure, there are plenty more drafts to go, but this fills me with a keen sense of achievement.
To put this into perspective, I have written two other (unpublished) novels. The first; I finished one draft, and never went back. This is a good thing – it’s a painful ode to my adolescence that I don’t want to share with the world. Plus, it’s terrible.
The second novel made it to the 3rd draft, which took 3 years! And I grew so sick of the novel that it remains unfinished.
Fast-forward to today. I’m on track to have the 3rd draft of my debut novel finished by the 19th Dec. You heard it here first – and committing to that date will help keep me on track. That means editing 8 chapters of my novel each week, something I thought impossible in the past.
There are a couple of differences to how I write now, versus how I wrote in the past (the 3 years to 3rd draft, painful past). I’m happy to share some of those with you.
Firstly, I’m setting myself small, achievable goals each week. And, most weeks, I’m at least meeting those goals – if not beating them. I’m a big nerd and keep a spreadsheet logging all the time I spend writing, and I give myself a gold star (literally) when I meet each goal. Pretty soon those gold stars add up to a whole lot of happy. Plus, I’ve been open about my deadlines on this blog, and you’ve helped keep me accountable. So thank you!
Secondly, I’ve been plugging away at an online self-publishing course, which has pushed me beyond where I thought I could be. The community there is amazing and I’ve picked up a heap of golden nuggets. If you’re interested to hear more, click here.
But, most importantly, I’ve given myself permission to suck, and just kept moving forward regardless. Because, how fabulous will it feel when I’ve finished the final edit? Hit ‘publish?’ Held a copy of the book in my sweaty little hands? None of those things will happen if I keep starting over.
I hope you’re setting yourself small, achievable goals too, and forging ahead with whatever makes you happy.
Yours in Creativity,