So here I am at the beginning of April and only 3 chapters away from finishing my first round of edits. I will sometimes tell myself that I’m only so many chapters away from finishing the book. I say that knowing that what I really mean is that I will finish the first round of editing. I will have successfully created a Revision 1 version of my novel.
A few months ago, I managed to finish writing the first draft. To a seasoned author, this is just another step in the process of writing a book. However, this was the first time I has ever finished a book. Before, I would often write the first chapter and quit because something else more interesting inspired me to focus elsewhere. Or, even more common, was that I wouldn’t ever write anything at all. I’d come up with everything and play out the book in my head. Knowing everything that was going to happen, I lost interest. Why write a story you already know everything about? I’d gotten my fun out of it and that was that. Before my current project, the closest I’d come was four or five chapters into a story two years ago.
Around October of 2014, I began writing an urban fantasy story based on a writing exercise I was going to do with my girlfriend. The exercise never happened, but I was intrigued with the world I’d created enough that I decided to give it a shot. January came about and I’d finished writing half the book. Had to quit my dead end job because I hurt my back… But I had written more than I had ever done in my entire life. And for the first time in my life, I felt proud of the effort I’d put into something.
Then, about two months ago, I wrote the finale. The book ended. I finished the first draft of the first book I’d ever written. No book, no story, will ever hold such an accomplishment for me again. This I share with every author, great and small.
I don’t feel as if it will be smooth sailing from here on out. I don’t even feel like I’ve crest the mountain and that the rest of this marathon is downhill. No… I know that once I finish editing these last few chapters that I’ll just be looping back to the beginning of the story again to continue editing until I have something worthy of people’s attention; of their time.
As a novice, there is only so much I can accomplish on my own. I have Beta readers giving me their thoughts. They have helped me so much in seeing my shortcomings. I don’t have a professional editor, but their sharp eyes see what I cannot. I look forward to finishing my first rounds of edits, because it means I will be that much closer to the day I can start querying agents. I’m aware of that it’s a tough industry to get into, but until that first rejection letter arrives, I don’t think it’ll sink in. Self doubt destroys us and I have it. Yet I’m working through it. I’m not afraid anymore. You could say that I know nothing and it is ignorance that blinds me to the pain I will soon face. I will accept that. However I will still move forward. Happiness is at my fingertips and I intend to grasp it.