100,000 words. I can’t believe that I’ve actually written that much. My first draft of my first hopefully-one-day-published book is nearly finished. I’ve made it to the end of the first tunnel and am barreling toward the second. I have spent so many nights unable to sleep because of the memories this experience brought up, not all of them pleasant. I’ve scribbled half-baked ideas on so many post-it notes, I’ve poured my heart out through my keyboard and, most of all, I’ve let my vulnerability take over the process.
The last few chapters are quite disjointed and full of incomplete thoughts. They look more like a group of crazy ramblings. So, I have quite a bit of cleaning up to do before I “officially” finish the first draft and I’m still struggling with deciding where on the timeline I need to end the book. I’m crossing my fingers it will just come to me during the “clean up”, but so far I’m pulling a big fat blank.
I have to admit, I’m a little proud of myself – a feeling which doesn’t happen very often for me. I know, I know. There are so many more steps ahead for this book. I’m probably still a good 3-4 drafts away from the finished product (not including the developmental and copyediting), and many decisions are yet to be made. However, my focus right now is to use this first goal as motivation to write the best book I can. The other stuff can work itself out later. Hopefully.
I’m at around 87,000 words. That’s 13,000 from my goal of 100,000. My deadline for 100,000 is November 15th. It will have been exactly 90 days from the first sentence I wrote. I thought I’d actually hit 100,000 this weekend judging my my earlier pace, but that won’t happen. As usual it will probably be the the night of the 15th, only because I am a serial procrastinator. A habit I cannot seem to break no matter what, including the morning of my wedding when, at 4am, I finally finished the backdrop.
(If you look closely, you can see my twitchy eye from the lack of sleep in our wedding photos.)
They say that procrastinators tend to be perfectionists, which might actually be true for me. One of the hardest things about writing this memoir is the fact that I have had to learn not to edit every single sentence as I write it. My biggest flaw is a writer is my inability to write a paragraph without taking it apart several times over, until it resembles something completely different from the original version. Luckily, I’m getting better, but I still catch myself doing it all the time. It’s difficult to avoid when you know people are going to read your shitty first draft and you have an extreme fear of being judged.
Maybe, I will finish this book and finally realize that it’s time to stop giving a shit. Until then, however, I am sure I will continue to struggle with the idea of perfection and my fear of judgment.
For now, I’m just hoping I can get halfway done with those final 13,000 words this weekend, and finish the final few during the homestretch next week. If that happens, I’ll have finally hit the first step of the goal I set myself 20 years ago.
And then it will be time to work on the second step: editing the shit out of my shitty first draft.