Joseph Joubert once said,
"Genius* begins great works; labor alone finishes them."
And, at this very moment, I completely agree with him. Because without that spark of inspiration and the substantial amount of hard work that followed -- I'd never be able to type the next sentence.
I finished Project Jane!!
(The first draft anyway.) Which I (tentatively**) titled Shattered.
And seriously, here's how the entire process went down.
First, I had the idea. It hit me and I couldn't ignore it. I was revved. I knew I had something good. I was excited and words flowed like chocolate fondue at a fancy wedding. (You know the type... Like 10 tiers of freefalling chocolaty goodness.)
I felt like this:
Then about 10,000 words in something happened. The words slowed down... The process began to feel more like molasses. Thick, slow rolling molasses. Heavy. The excitement was still there, but I was weighed down. Doubts, writer's blocks, the realization that completing a novel is not all butterflies and roses.
I felt like this:
And that's pretty much how I stayed for the next 85,000 words. I loved my characters; I loved my plot. I never stopped loving the writing process (I never will), but the hard work factor rocked me.
Oooh boy, but let me tell you. The effort and blood and sweat and tears were all worth it when I typed the very last paragraph... the very last sentence... very last word.
So, if you're a first time writer stumbling across this blog, know this: don't give up on the first draft! It loses its magic sometimes and you might get bored with it. But don't stop writing because finishing it feels amazing. And you can always go back to edit the parts you forced yourself to write. (And maybe, if you're lucky, they actually came out a lot better than you thought they did!)
(Also, check out the hashtag #amwritingparty on twitter... It's a nightly party with writers who are super, super supportive and all in some stage - be it writing, editing, or brainstorming - of the writing process.)
As for me? I've got a few edits to take care of immediately, before I forget that I wanted to do them. (I made a list while I wrote, since I didn't edit while writing). Then, I'm putting Shattered away for a few weeks before I enter the next phase, which I believe is going to feel
a little bit like this:
And a LOT like this:
(Except without the balls... and with my manuscript.)
*Genius, insofar as how I relate to the quote, refers to the creative spirit. I'm not trying to say I have a large IQ. (I mean, I'm blonde after all...)
**I think the title fits my story perfectly... I'm just hesitant because a quick google search told me that Dean Koontz wrote a novel called Shattered, in the 70s... And I'm not sure what the protocol is for using a title that's already been used...