5 Reasons for finishing the first draft-

I haven’t been writing for very long. I think that is a given. Or at least I haven’t been taking it as serious as I do now for very long… Having only one short story published and one novel that is unpublished isn’t a very big resume. But I can tell you that in my drawer are hundreds of undeveloped ideas. They sit there collecting dust, the pages worn and cracked from my personal creative neglect. They’re like small children starring back at me wide eyed begging for some sort of attention. They are my unfinished drafts…

I hate unfinished works… Most of these are the first two or three chapters of novels I started and quickly gave up on. Others are short stories and novellas that just never panned out or I forgot about. The truth is, each one of them represents me giving up on a project. And I hate that… I hate quitting or letting go of something to soon.

Now, truth be told some represent a time when my writing skills were very weak. The ideas needed to be abandoned… Going back and reading them today I’m thankful I didn’t pursue them. But then there is that other group. The group where that little demon was sitting on my shoulder digging his talons in deep, piercing my skin and barking in my ear the two words I hate to hear most: You Stink!!!

So many times I would listen and let go of something, taking the advice from my inner critic instead. I hate that. It drives me nuts because as I look over these stories now something stirs that says: This isn’t so bad, you’ve got something here…

A few I can actually remember when I got the idea and started writing them down. I remember the pleasure of taking the pen to the paper and making the strokes. That magical feeling of a story coming alive in your mind that it causes your hand to move so fast you can barely read the writing on the page. But now they sit here, starring back at me, saying finish me, please… Why did you ever leave me…?

Last year I wrote a short story called “Compulsion.” Just about 6,500 words is all it was. Is it the best short story I have ever written…? No, probably not… Does it need some fine tuning and a little editing…? Sure you bet it does… But I did something for the first time, I stopped listening to my inner critic, that little demon beast that sits on my shoulder and I went to Kindle and – published it…

I didn’t care what people thought. I didn’t care if I walked away with nothing but 500 one star reviews. The end result was I was happy with it and I enjoyed the little story… But just finishing something was pleasing enough and it made me realize that I can actually do this…

This week: Thursday and Friday Compulsion will be up for FREE on Kindle… And every time I look at it I’m reminded of my current project and how important finishing it will be… So here they are- My Five reasons for finishing the first draft of your manuscript… Hope you enjoy!!!

1. You gain confidence that you can do this-
• Confidence is what holds most writers back… It’s diminished by the voice on our shoulder. Ask yourself how many times have you’ve given up on an idea that was good and decent only to regret it because the inner critic controlled you choice to do so…

2. The first draft is never perfect-
• Every writer has a bad written first draft… Some may say they don’t, and I’m sure there are select few out there, but most do… I stopped going back and revising as I went. It took me awhile but I finally realized that polishing and re-writes are a separate process for a reason

3. You learn from the experience-
• You learn what process works for you… I would also say you discover where your weaknesses are (Dialogue, plotting, grammar, etc) I think my weakness is in grammar. I hate it, writing would be easier if there were no rules… But a story would also likewise stink as a result. Everytime I write I learn something new about my personal grammar…

4. It means you’re legit-
• Being a writer isn’t about having published works, writing is about finishing… I really believe that… Publication is the reward for the effort… So finish, it means you are a writer…

5. Finishing is the first step towards publication-
• If you don’t finish something you are never going to get published. It’s that simple. When you finish, then you can now submit (After polishing, revisions, re-writes, etc)

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3 responses to “5 Reasons for finishing the first draft-

  • lorddavidprosser

    Years of being told “You’re not a proper writer if you publish it yourself.” have ground the words onto your brain. “That’s VANITY publishing”.
    With the disappearance of publishers Indie is often the way to go now without a Curse falling across your house. There’s help galore from fellow authors and from those willing to review your work, so much so that it’s almost a crime not to write these days. No matter how well your book sells it has little bearing upon the quality of the work as sales are pure marketing, but sell just one copy and you know you’re an author. With all the help available you may as well make it the best it can be and at least you’ll know it deserved the sales it made and the reviews it got.
    Most of all, try to entertain yourself because then the journey is worth it, entertain the readers and the arrival will always be worthwhile.

  • writemybrainsout

    I just read your story and I am so happy for you. Great job, both on the writing and the publishing. Congratulations!

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