I actually did it. I made a plan, and I stuck to it.


Seriously though, this gives me hope that I can actually handle full-time study or even work as well as writing. All chapters have now been summarised and had secondary notes made on them, with particular emphasis on what I want to change, as well as – briefly – summarising what actually happens in each chapter. Now to make that master-list of beta feedback, and then a list of my ideas for what I want the story to be, whether or not the ideas fit together, and then I’ll get started on planning draft 2, shifting scenes around and whatnot. I’ve already done a bit of it and it feels pretty solid, so I’m looking forward to more.

Reading it so fast gave me a whole new perspective on the pacing of the story as well, in this first draft form;i t changed my perspective entirely – the first time I was focusing on it from chapter to chapter, whereas this time I found it much easier to see it as a whole story and how it flowed from one part to the next. And it really is humbling to be able to read through and make pretty concise notes on a manuscript that it took me a year to write, and four months to make preliminary notes on afterwards. Like, super-humbling.

And it was so rewarding that I almost want to read it again.

It might not hurt, actually, because I feel so much more familiar with the story as a whole now, and that bird’s-eye view is really helpful. But it would probably be overkill. I might come back to it after draft 2 planning just to do some last-minute checking, but most likely not. We’ll see.

It’s also got me thinking about how I think of my life. I tend to cordon it off into sections and give them different thematic meanings (especially the not-so-happy stuff), more like how I read through the draft to make notes the first time – piece by piece, meticulous, zoomed-in, and exclusionary. Now having experienced the peripheral thrill of fast-reading my own work, I’m starting to think that I may have missed out on a lot by being so engrossed in my own history, and made it seem like a bigger deal than it is. Gonna put that in the life-draft and row it.

I just seriously feel so uplifted and motivated right now. And the next novel I draft – which is the one I finished the first draft of before I started university – I almost can’t wait to get to work on. I finally now know at least part of why I couldn’t ever get momentum up for the second draft of that one: I started over from scratch. I didn’t finish reading the draft to make notes. I basically just chest-pressed myself into the ground as hard as possible, and it turns out that I had an adverse reaction to that. This time, I know what to do, or at least I know something that works a lot better than starting over and basically invalidating – well, with that book, over a year’s worth of writing. Seriously, that book took a long time to write. But I stuck to schedule more or less, wrote four pages a day almost every day, and got it done. And I really want to get it done. I miss that story. I miss being invested in it.

For now, though, I’m loving being invested with Tallulah. There is so much potential, and knowing that I have the potential for a quick turnaround (not including the year and a half before this point of course) is really heartening. I now think I could actually be done with draft 2 in three months, and draft 3 by the end of the year, at which point I’ll submit it for publishing.

Tomorrow I’m going to find out if I can actually go back to university at all, and if I can, I think I will. I feel reinvigorated, and university was sometimes a very energising place to be. Unless some really awesome job opportunity turns up and I actually manage to land it before then, of course. I doubt that’s going to happen, but you never know.

It has taken a LONG time for me to get to this point as a writer, and I wish I’d gotten here sooner. I’m hardly old, but I’ve felt old since I was 18, so my opinion probably doesn’t count in that regard. However, I can’t help but think that if I’d had these skills and this confidence when I was younger …

Ah well. Lots of ‘if only’s. None of them change anything. This has been a change, and one I’m really happy with.

Time to see if I can’t apply it to other areas of my life as well. Because being a writer is most definitely not just about writing.


4 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. But that’s the whole point! You feel invigorated and inspired because of how much you’ve grown and that never could gave happened without all of the struggle and heartache. We can ask what if about alot of things but here, in this moment, you’ve proven that you can accomplish anything you want. I had the same revelation earlier this year and my production has gone through the roof. Would I prefer to have hit this growth spurt sooner? Absolutely. But I can still feel proud knowing that it’s the result of all of my hard work rather than just luck or talent. And for some reason that makes it sweeter.

    • So true. I doubt I would have gotten to this point without also hitting my head against a wall first so I could see what I was doing that wasn’t working. It can be frustrating to think that you have to fail before you can succeed, but I guess so long as the succeeding part comes along it’s all worth it 🙂

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