Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

The Time Has Come

on May 14, 2013

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I’ve put it off long enough. I’ve run out of excuses..it’s now or never.

Yes, the time has come for me to pull out that first draft of the novel I wrote while I was in Camp NaNoWriMo.  It has sat in my briefcase long enough..it’s calling to me to return to the world I created when I wrote it.  But, I’m scared..right down to my pedicure.

What if I wrote over 30,000 words of pure dribble; what if I find that the humor runs flat; the characters are shallow or the plot is unbelievable?  What if my first instinct is to throw the whole damn thing in the trash?  What if I absolutely hate it?

Damn, I would hate to think that the time I spent writing the book would have been better spent dusting my living room or scrubbing my toilets.  Did I waste that time on a silly dream that I could write a novel?  Aren’t I a little old to indulge myself with such a fantasy?

All these fears and insecurities have plagued me since I typed the words “The End” and left camp.  As a result, I haven’t read word one of what I wrote; I only printed the draft onto dead trees last week and still didn’t read any of it.  I told people I was “letting it cook”; I was taking a “break”; I was following the advice of other writers who advised putting the manuscript aside for a period of time.

But, I woke up this morning and realized that I was just procrastinating.  It is time to push those doubts down and pull that draft out.  I’ve never backed away from a challenge before; I eat them for breakfast.  And, I’m not going to let my self doubts keep me from the finish line of becoming a published novelist!

I started the novel with just an idea; I pulled characters out of thin air and made them real to me and I wrote a beginning, a middle and an end.  The hardest work is done.  I never expected a shiny, polished manuscript when I left camp.  I have to accept what I wrote as a first draft and deal with that.

If I find that the dialogue needs more punch; I’ll punch it!  If the plot drags in spots; I’ll fix it.  If I need to build the characters and their back stories; I’ll create them and if a chapter doesn’t work, I’ll cut it out!  And, I’ll keep doing it until it all comes together and works!

And, it might be more fun than I think.  Who knows?  Maybe once I return to the world I created, I’ll find I wrote a pretty good start on a really promising novel. Stranger things have happened!

But, I’ll never know until I pull that draft out, dust if off and start working on it again. And, as I stand here, right now, I make a solemn promise that I will do just that. Today..or tomorrow..or maybe next week. 🙂  No, I’m going to start today. Today will mark the day that I turned my back on all my fears and moved forward towards my goal of being a published novelist.

Wish me luck!

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43 responses to “The Time Has Come

  1. mcwoman says:

    Cranky – You gave birth to a lump of clay, now it’s time to mold it. Don’t be afraid. You’ll find spots that genius and spots that you can’t believe ever hit the “dead trees.” I agree–the first draft is the hardest part, but every step of the way gives you challenges. You’re such a wonderful writer, I wish I could read what you discovered at camp!

    • Thanks so much..it’s people like you that give me the “get up and go” when I think it got up and went! You are on my list of people to sneak a few chapters to when I’ve finished revisions! Thanks again for the encouragement!

  2. keladelaide says:

    Work those words and make magic.
    I would find it difficult to believe that your humour could fall flat. Ever.
    You are the queen of funny. Heck, you made bird poo on your car hilarious!

    • Thanks..sometimes I laugh at me..but other people just shake their heads! But, while writing that first draft, I wrote “funny” for me, and only me. We’ll see it other’s will get the joke!

  3. Bastet says:

    Yeah!!! Good for you…give it the old one two…and remember, some people have hated their own work, but the world loved it…Conan Doyle and Agatha Chrstie even sent their main characters to an early grave only to have to resurrect them! The Nutcracker Suite was considered by Tchaikovsky to be his worst ever piece of music…So don’t worry…work on it, polish it, in the end it might nauseate you, so let us read it too! (How was that for plugging for a sneak preview 😉 seriously, I’m sure it will be a gas!)

  4. dmauldin53 says:

    You go girl! You’ve come this far, don’t stop now. Keep on taking those steps. May luck be with you!

  5. tric says:

    I can only imagine how terrifying it is to pick it up and re read it. I would be “sweating bricks”. But fearing it is worse than dealing with it. I am sure lots of it is super. Now after letting it cook, you will probably be able to read it more clearly, but allow it to flow, do not get too bogged down in small detail at this stage. I could imagine myself over correcting. I hope you remain very proud of it and yourself.

  6. Susan Norden says:

    For myself, I look at all that I have written so far — short stories, poetry, et cetera — as my creations to satiate my passion for writing, and if they get no further than my own library, so be it. That’s pretty much takes the stress off of me! Best wishes!!!! 🙂

    • Oh, that sweet nectar of the gods clouds my vision! But, thanks for reading and the visit! But, some good old rock and roll playing in the background is sure to spark my creativity!

  7. amanda amanda says:

    Hi
    You already have the balance and focus, even the knowledge you need to travel through the draft to your finished manuscript – just look at your picture.
    And yes, in our age we also have the curage …
    good luck greetings and have a wonderful time together

  8. ericaatje says:

    Good luck, Cranky!!! I know you can do it! I believe in you and your book! You go girl!!! 😉

  9. ioniamartin says:

    The first draft has to stink, it is a requirement of camp nano. 🙂

  10. Gwen says:

    I think fear is what holds a lot of writers back, including me! If you get into your manuscript and realize the first draft is crap, so what? That’s why it’s called a draft. And you’ll probably have to go through several drafts before you produce anything worth sending out. But just keep on keeping on – that’s the name of the game and it’s what we all do. Giving it a rest between drafts is always a good idea, because you can return to the piece with fresh eyes and a different perspective. And it always beats scrubbing toilets!

    When you’re ready to get feedback from third party readers, a great website to check out is critiquecircle.com I’ve been a member there for a year now. I haven’t submitted anything in a while, but I got some excellent feedback on a story that I later entered in a contest (and received an honorable mention). I have a feeling you’d love this site. You’re very social and form great relationships with readers. But you have to have a really thick skin, because some critiquers will really let you have it. If you’re feeling inspired, check it out. Best of luck as you begin revisions. Now the real fun begins.

  11. Cranky, you can do it! your blogging posts are a good example of a great writer, keep going I will be cheering you on whilst writing madly too!

  12. And you will get published because I think you are a very gifted writer. But what’s more important is that you write from the heart and if you stay true to yourself and believe in yourself, you will arrive. Writing is all about the “rewriting.”

  13. mummyshymz says:

    I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Imagine your granddaughter holding your book and saying “My grandma wrote this book, and dedicated it to me!” Motivation, motivation…
    And I’ll bet there are plenty if people like myself who are waiting to read it 🙂

  14. Cranky, as you know, the writing process is so hard at the beginning of each stage. But it is so sweet at the end!

  15. I have a lot of friends who have written successful books, and one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was something like: “You just have to get through a first draft. You can fix everything later. Fill in the gaps. Change the flow.” This is from people who write for a living. So no worries. You got through a very daunting part. Now you figure out what works and what doesn’t. I believe in you!

  16. johnlmalone says:

    good on you. let us know how it turns out

  17. barbtaub says:

    I think of writing the first draft as flying a glider off a mountain. The wind rushes through your hair, you have an exhilarating god-like view of creation, and it’s pure fun all the way down to the words “The End”. Then you have to edit your way back up the mountain, carrying your baggage, and negotiating every rock, detour, crevasse, and thorn. It takes about ten times as long, is about a hundred times harder, and requires you to bleed all the way to the top.

    And because you’re one sick puppy, that climb back up is fun too.

    Good luck! I can’t wait to read it.

  18. Sallyann says:

    Go for it !
    First the book, then the film, then the tv series ….
    and remember ~ if you don’t have a dream then it can’t ever come true. 🙂

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