What I learned from writing the 1st draft of SOL

1) I am a writing drama queen

Wait. Let me back up.

I first have to tell you a little bit about the process of writing the Speaking of Love (spin-off of Playing at Love) draft.

I wrote the first three chapters over two months ago, got the “okay to move forward” from my editor, then got busy with other writing projects (such as editing both P@L and Abby Road and writing numerous guest blogs and interviews for P@L), knowing that I still had loooooads of time to get back to SOL. Then it came time to do the actual manuscript writing. I sat down with my laptop, cracked my knuckles, then checked Facebook. And Twitter. And pretty much anything else that falls under the title of “time suckage.” After about a week of this, I started to worry. Therefore, being the good little author I am, I sent an email to my editor explaining that it may behoove us both if she gave me a due date for the first draft . . . .because, obviously, I wasn’t getting it done on my own.

She did as asked.

And I freaked out.

Because it seemed very soon, only one month away. Additionally–since I simply CANNOT allow my editor (who, let’s face it, thinks I’m perfect. . . .) to see a first draft without it first going to my critique partner for a blood-drenched edit–I had to move up the completion date in time to send it to her in time for her to read it and send notes and then for me to have time to fix those before the looming due date. AND, since my crit partner is participating in NaNoWriMo starting at the stroke of midnight on November 1st, I needed to get my draft to her even sooner, since she would be completely out of pocket come 11/1.

Sooooo. . . .needless to say (but since I’m so long-winded, I’ll say it anyway), my writing time went from one month to two weeks and I was completely freaking out. Then (heh-heh) came the “writer’s block”–which often comes when I put undo pressure on myself. πŸ™‚ After another few days of falling into the “time suckage” vortex, I was really panicking. My writing sucked, I lost focus, I didn’t know who my characters were or what they wanted or what they sounded like, and I basically started rethinking my skill as a writer and my reasons for being born.

Very productive.

Despite the fact that I was woefully behind my self-inflicted schedule, I took an evening off….not able to face that blank page. I watched a movie that I loved and pulled a book off my shelf that I hadn’t yet gotten to. I read that book and the first half of another. It was pretty amazing what that did. If nothing else, it reminded me what an actual book is supposed to look like and feel like and sound like. The books weren’t amazingly great, but they took me away from my own story long enough for my creativity to rest and reboot.

And then I wrote.

For three days straight.

My characters were back conversing in my head and driving me crazy, and the muses were smiling. It’s what we call a breakthrough. I finished the first draft just shy of two weeks. Which, for me, is pretty dang fast. It’s not perfect, it’s got loads of problems, but. . . . for a rough draft. . . I think it’s quite fab.

But I digress. . . . .

2) writing a good “hunky guy chopping firewood” scene can snap me out of a writing funk
3) I need to cut myself major slack
4) writing is easier when my mother is in town and cooking for me. Just knowing I have a freezer full of potato soup is soothing
5) it doesn’t help my writing to watch Vampire Diaries, but it sure is fun
6) I am productive under pressure, but I fear it ages me and drives those around me to want to run and hide
7) for a time, it’s okay to think that I don’t have any writing talents or marketable skills or reasons to be living. Obviously, that will all pass. If I can learn something from it (and then blog about it a week later), maybe those moments of panic aren’t in vain
8) I really need to read THIS
9) cupcakes can save the world (but I kind of already knew this)
10) a support system and friends who ask about my projects mean the effin’ world to me
11) Taylor Swift’s new album is really good. I like THIS one best.
12) I should give up Diet Cokes but I can’t
13) a good crisis of faith is healthy–but only if short-lived
14) I want/need a new office chair. One of those ones with the mesh back. Or a recliner. Or a private island.
15) Gwen Stefani totally gets me
16) always laugh. Find balance. Enjoy the moments. Even the stressful ones. Everything is fodder.

Now–my creative types–time to dance to Gwen. The first two minutes, you know you totally relate to this!Β 

(“tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock”)

3 thoughts on “What I learned from writing the 1st draft of SOL

  1. Aliscen says:

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It
    proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenter here!
    It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
    I'm sure you had fun writing this article…..

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