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.

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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,
      Emily

  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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