On the 1st of January, 2010, I sat in my mother’s house with a glass of wine and waited for everyone to go to bed. When they stumbled down the stairs, champagne still sloshing in their bellies, I unwrapped the brand new Moleskine my mum gave me for Christmas (yes, I’m one of those people). I’ve always wanted to be a writer, always had little projects on the side, but this was it: the night I resolved to stop letting boyfriends, bad bosses, stomach cramps, facebook – life – get in the way. I picked up my pen and started to write it instead.
For the first time, the story became part of my life and my life, in a way, shaped the story. It’s seen me through break-ups, bereavements, dating life, lots of corporate restructures, and all of life’s little anxieties in between.
This page starts in the middle of my own journey, when I finished draft 2, and contains weekly blog posts that will weave their way backwards and forwards in time to trace my journey to become a published author – a milestone still somewhere in my future.
It took me two years and I’ve done it: I’ve finished writing a novel.
And now that it’s done, I thought I’d feel the subtle, sublime sense of an ending, something cathartic, something to celebrate. I can’t say that it didn’t feel amazing: it left me breathless… but it definitely feels much more like a middle.
That’s because, immediately upon finishing, all the thoughts of what comes next came rushing to my mind:
I thought I knew what Michael Crichton meant when he said “writing is re-writing.” Then I finished my second draft. A quarter of the way through editing a third draft, the message has finally crystallised: turns out writing is re-writing.
This post is about where I’ve been since June.
I started this blog when I finished my second draft and I was determined to A) send my novel to an agent by the end of August and B) post at least once per week. It wasn’t until I started really editing that I realised how much I learned through the development of my second draft – how much growing I’d done as a writer, as a person.