So I finally have a 100% shi^&* first draft!
A friend I spoke with on the phone this morning was shocked I had accomplished the amazing feat of the terrible first draft- or any draft-- because of the nature & consistency of my complaints. That I'm getting nowhere fast. That writing sucks. That I have no discipline and just can't get it together. That nobody will agree to sit down and write my book for me.
But somehow-sometime- amidst my kvetching and canoodling I have managed to come up with some pages. Here and there. Around 150 to be inexact. They lack a consistent narrative drive, lots of threads go untied and I switch frequently between past and present tense. There are 2 or 3 paragraphs I would love to show anyone but all in all it is truly awful. At least it would be if it were a book. But it's not, it's a draft and for that reason I am THRILLED.
It was heartening last Friday night to hear Travis Holland- who just won the VCU first Novelist Award for his book, "The Archivist's Story"- say that he wrote 4 or 5 drafts before striking gold. And I'll never forget Jeannette Walls saying that she wrote the first draft of "The Glass Castle" in 5 weeks and then spent the next 5 YEARS revising it. I was in complete shock at the time and thought she must be an incredibly slow writer (yeah, somebody who covers celebrities for MSNBC would be a slow writer) and that couldn't possibly ever be the case with me. Now I'd be tickled fuscia to think that 5 years was my timeline and the NY Times bestseller list was my destination. Again and again I have to pull my mind out of the gutter of the publishing industry and the end product and whether or not Oprah will still have a book club by the time I'm 40 and just remember to concentrate on my task at hand. Writing. Another draft. Page by page.