I am nearly nearly nearly nearly done with my first draft.
I am very excited. Starting is not the hardest bit. I start lots of things. Two or three days after I start is the hardest thing. I have thought of something else to start. I have to do something else like washing up or ironing trousers. I read what I have done so far back to myself and feel discouraged.
That’s the hardest thing. When I get over that hardest thing part completely I will be a writing genius. I decided to take myself in hand while feeling the hardest thing and think some positive thoughts.
Here are some of them.
1. You stood on a bull-dog clip once in your bare feet and it really, really hurt, and that was worse than this.
2. It is all right to pack it in if you really hate it. It won’t make a difference to the world. But you might feel bad.
3. This is better than the hot air balloon one.
4. You like doing this really, it is just the hardest bit, and after a bit you will be on the middle bit and that bit is a better bit.
5. You have done childbirth and labour. There can be no complaining after that.
6. You are a real person and should get on with this.
7. You do want to know how this ends, don’t you?
Then I got onto the middle. The middle is quite a hard bit too. You think, this is not how I planned it. And I have come too far to stop now but there is still quite a long way to go. And this is stupid I could be sleeping or watching telly or ironing trousers instead. You say, aha! I will not be a novelist anymore, I will be something else. I will refuse to do this terrible thing. Then you sober up and get yourself together and feel a bit ridiculous for complaining about something that no-one actually asked you to do anyway.
Then you get onto the nearly there bit. This is another good bit. You have lots of ideas for improvements for the second draft. You write those kinds of ideas down in a blue notebook with a picture of a fish on the front of it, and carry on anyway. You know when you read it back it is going to be disappointing and still need a lot of work. Like seven more drafts, if the last one is anything to go by. You click word count and feel pleased. You double space it and you do a spell check. You are nearly there!
You think fast and type fast and feel like a million trillions.
I have to think of a present that I will give myself when I finish the first draft. Because then I am going to take a week off and think about something else and look over my notes for improvements the second time round and read some good books. This treat should be quite a good treat, but not an excellent treat. The excellent treat is for when the last draft is done.