Friday 16 October 2015 at 1pm – on the dot – I finished the first draft of my novel and took a step closer to completing another point on my Bucket List; “Write a book – A story that I would want to read.”
Yes, I am one of those. I aspire to be a novelist.
But it’s not always something that I’ve fully believed I have the capability of achieving. Every story I have started I have given up with, abandoned, lost interest in, stopped writing for one reason or another – or been too late with telling it. No word of a lie, I put off writing a story I had had in my mind for years and when I did come to write it, I got about half way through when I was introduced to a new hit TV show ‘Heroes’. My story was being played out right before my eyes. I was devastated and of course dropped it instantly.
Ever since then I haven’t been able to finish a story to end-of-first-draft stage. Well. There was one. I used to write on my way to and from work on the train and did manage (hand) write a complete story. However, when I came to type it out – I realised just how shit it was and dropped it instantly. Let’s speak no more of it.
So when a story came to mind that I felt passionate about (and if I ever wanted to complete my bucket list point) I knew I had to get on and plan the shit out of this thing if I was going to take it anywhere.
I planned it all out, started writing it and then one day I realised that I hadn’t written any more of it for a good few months. It just went clear out of my head. But I couldn’t get the momentum I needed to carry on with it again either.
A couple of months ago I had an Employee Development Day at work which included a talk from a motivational speaker. I didn’t catch the guys name but it was a pretty good talk, engaging, and I did take something away from it – always have a goal. Goals give us structure and bring purpose to our lives:
- Pick your goals
- Make them specific
- Set a date for completion
I was sold by this idea – and that night I went home and came up with three separate plans. One for me, one for Dan and one for us – joint goals. Don’t worry, Dan was involved with his own and Our goal making; whether he wanted to be or not (he didn’t really give a shit but pretended to and humoured me…two of his goals included making more PS4 time and getting better at playing football again. I couldn’t complain, he was coming up with his own goals after all).
Anyway, one of mine was by the 31st December I wanted to really make a go of getting my story down and out of my head and have the first draft of my novel finished.
Motivation re-found and target set, I began to set aside half hour or so to write… when I could. But half an hour once in a while isn’t really enough of a commitment to focus the mind and let the story develop as it should. So for a while there was little and slow progress.
Well, through various circumstances (changing moving dates and starts dates – it’s all kicking off!) I’ve been lucky enough to get a couple of weeks off and have used that time to concentrate on my story. And amazingly, have managed to finish the first draft of it – way ahead of time. Yay me!
Now, I’m not deluded enough to think that that is my novel done. I’ll check for spelling mistakes and that’ll be it. Oh no. This baby is going to need some serious editing. It’s a first draft after all, and we all know that that automatically means it’s terrible and nowhere near what the end product will look like.
It’s rough but at least the outline of the story is there for me to develop and start the second draft. I just hope that without time off that I can dedicate to it, I can keep the momentum going and make sure I find the time to carry on writing. Wish me luck!
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov