A Writing Journey

I set out, at the beginning of this month, to write a chapter a day and finish my fifth draft of “Quest for Salvation” by July 30th.

I’ll tell you the bad news first. I didn’t write a chapter a day. I was sick for a little under a week, and I choose not to write when I am sick. I learned during my freshman year of college that when I am sick, my writing becomes an incoherent blob of crazy (and yet I still managed to salvage that paper on Julius Caesar). At that point, I was ready to give up. I thought: I’ll never finish now, there can’t possible be enough days left in the month to get this done! (Yeah, I only have nineteen chapters so I think my math skills suffer when I’m sick too…)

But here’s the good news: I finished. On Monday I sat down and said: write, you fool! You have a week left! And I wrote. Oh yeah, I had to go to work and spend time with my family, but I got past the hardest part of my rewrite and I kept going. On Tuesday, I got up, ate some breakfast, and powered through the rest of the novel. (Admittedly, my rewrite cut about three chapters and I didn’t have to change much in the last five, so I had it pretty easy.)

I don’t know how inspiring this really is, but I just want to say: You can do it. It might be hard, you might be sick, but you can still do it. You can make that deadline, self-imposed or not. You just have to buckle down and get it done.

This is a skill I learned during college. I had lots of writing deadlines (you know, all those papers I was writing when I was sick?) and so I learned to do it. Sure, I stressed out over every single one, but they were all finished. I never turned anything in late.

When I was in high school and didn’t have a strict writing schedule, I always thought that the thing holding me back from putting my whole heart into becoming a writer was that I couldn’t “write on command.” In other words, the deadlines scared me. Now, I say bring it on.

After I visit family at the beginning of August, I’m going to start sending out my queries and chapters. Wish me luck!

Take care, fellow travelers. And keep writing.

Comments on: "Friday Inspiration – Finishing a Rewrite" (4)

  1. Congratulations, Emily! I am also juggling many deadlines at the moment and for once, I don’t want to stress out on them by tackling them at the last minute (my usual approach). Let’s say that it’s stil a work in progress 🙂
    Lot’s of luck on the queries! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    • Thank you! I know what you mean about the stress of juggling deadlines. I often finish things last minute as well (as I am procrastinating doing right now) and sometimes it can be less stressful, though at other times not. 🙂 I look forward to hearing what comes of your rewriting, as well!
      Take care,

  2. I’m so proud of you!! Gah, if this is how long it takes me to finish a second draft I am scared to see how many years it will be before I get through the fifth. I need to take your advice and just lock myself up somewhere and WRITE FASTER but augh, character development.

    • Thanks for your support! For me, each draft has gone faster than the one before. It’s hard work and it takes practice, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Good luck!

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