Messy Writing

I have a new book in the works.

Exciting, right?

My life has been a little crazy lately, what with work and being married and working through lessons on MasterClass and possibly even working on design ideas for a new house. (Gasp.)

But, in the midst of it all, I have my own work to get done. My personal projects. The ones that, just now, matter to nobody but me. This blog is one of them, and another, very special one, is the new book I’ve been working on.

I’m wildly excited about it. It’s a middle-grade novel about monsters and kidnapped children and courage and fierce little girls and vegan toast and greasy lawyers. I have much too much fun writing it.

Since I work full time and try to be a fully functioning wife and human being part of the time, it doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Mostly just an hour every weekday, in that short squeak of time after work and before my husband gets home.

And occasionally on weekends.

And holidays, if I can sneak away long enough to pull my computer out for an hour or so.

This particular book has been coming together in bits and pieces, and it has been a solid lesson in humility for me. See, I’ve been a writer for about eight years now. I’ve written at least ten books. I get paid to write.

And yet, a first draft will always be a first draft, no matter how much experience you have or how much time you can put into it.

In other words, it’s a trash fire.

The story makes no sense. The characters refuse to do what I want them to do. The setting is rather gray and lumpy and not at all what I wanted it to be. And don’t even get me started about the theme, because the thought-provoking and inspirational idea I started out with has refused to show up entirely, and there’s a gaping hole where it is meant to be.

And yet, every day, I sit down to write a little more. And I remind myself that a first draft is a first draft, and its entire job just now is to exist. Not to be pretty, not to be complete, not even to make sense. It just has to be.

Because I find my books in the writing. I can plan and outline and think things through all I want, but once I sit down to actually write it, quite a different story emerges. The story that was meant to be. The one that is needed.

And the first draft is the first—rather messy—step to something I can be proud of.

What are you working on just now? Tell me about it in the comments!

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