Yesterday something happened to me that has never happened to me in my entire life. I took a giant step in accomplishing a long-time dream. I did something that seemed impossible. I typed a mountain of words.
Anyone guess what I’m talking about? I finished the first draft of The Hashna Stone!
Yes, you read that correctly. After six to seven months of work (depending how you look at it since I took a month off), I’ve FINALLY completed the first draft. This is definitely the longest I’ve worked on a single story—which is an exciting accomplishment in itself—but I’m not just working on this story to break a record. I’m writing this with the intent of publishing. That makes finishing this first draft even more exciting, because I’m now one step closer to being able to share my story with you.
It is strangely emotional to finish a rough draft. I’m relieved to have all that work behind me, and excited that I’m closer to having a finished product. But finishing the first draft left me a bit overwhelmed. I knew writing a book would be a lot of work, but seven months on just one draft…how long is it going to take me to finish the second draft? A whole year? And then what about sending it out to beta readers (whom I don’t have yet), and then drafting yet again. My celebration bubble burst when I think of how much farther I have to go.
Part of my brain is going, “You’re the best freaking person alive! You’ve done the impossible. Celebrate your superhuman abilities!” The other half is saying, “It took you this long to finish the first draft? Psh, you’re never going to finish all the drafting and editing that’s ahead.” Instead of a devil and angel on either of my shoulders I have glitter and party balloons on one of my shoulders and on the other side stands Professor Umbridge smacking the momentum right out of me.
I guess this is why the experts say you should take a break between your first draft and starting on your second draft. So, as much as I want to dive right in at chapter one and start reading and taking notes on what i’m going to change, I’m going to give myself at least two weeks off before reading over my story.
But besides that pesky Professor Umbridge, I’m feeling pretty on top of the world right now. I mean I just wrote 111, 385 words, and that is just counting the manuscript. That isn’t counting all the character profiles, back story, world building, and random scenes written in other character’s viewpoints. If I count all of that, the words I wrote for The Hashna Stone totals to 157, 863.
(Yes, I am that majestic. Be in awe of my skill, mortals.)
It does take a lot of work to finish a first draft, and even more to finish a book, but it will be worth it. If there’s one thing I love more than anything else it’s a good story, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that The Hashna Stone becomes one. Finishing this draft proved to myself that this whole book thing can be done. If I can finish one draft I can finish another, right?
Well I’m off to enjoy my break, bask in my accomplishment, and get rid of Professer Umbridge. 😉