First Drafts and New Adventures

I find myself poring over a number of blogs lately.  Photography, cooking, music, and other random blogs I find through “research” which makes me feel slightly less guilty than calling it what it really is- procrastination.  Despite my best efforts at mindlessness, I find myself compelled by people’s stories and interests and couldn’t help wondering if maybe I had something worth saying as well.

So here it is.  My blog.  I decided the most interesting thing I’m currently doing is trying to get my first novel published.  I wrote it as a means to find my own identity after having a baby, determined to think about something other than diapers and breastfeeding.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom, but moms are people too.

I made a deal with my husband that gave me two hours every day to go to the library and write.  I didn’t have a time-line or even a workable outline for my story, just a bunch of ideas and characters and a desperate need for a quiet working space.  It just so happened that we lived up the street from the best library in the world, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a coffee cart outside.  What more could I want?

It turns out that only giving myself two hours a day subverted my procrastination attempts well enough to produce a first draft after about four months.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.  And then I printed it out and fell in love with its heft in my hand.  It’s pretty, right? I thought so.  Until I read it.  It wasn’t the ready-to-publish piece of genius I’d fantasized about.  Drat!  That was when I realized I still had a long way to go.

But I started editing and, page by page, eventually got through it and now, just over a year later,  I have a draft ready for other people’s eyes.  It’s still in the proofreading stage, but I’m starting the process of looking into agents and publishers and the business of writing novels.

There are a lot of similarities to the music industry, which I’ve been working in for the last seven years, but there are plenty of differences to keep me on my toes.  And, during this research phase I’ve also started working on my second novel.  That helps distract me as I’m biting my nails waiting for feedback on my first novel, but I find myself enjoying the creative burst even more the second time around.  I think there’s something about knowing I’m capable of producing a full-length novel that makes the second less daunting.  So far.

I know I’m not the first person to go through this process (and I even have a handful of writer friends embarking as well) but I thought that if I shared my experiences via the world wide web, it may end up catching the interest of someone else on this journey and inspire, inform, or just provide some mindless “research” to fill their minds.  I’m hoping for the first two, but I’ll take what I can get.

They say every journey begins with a first step, and this blog is mine.  What’s yours?

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6 thoughts on “First Drafts and New Adventures

  1. Lisa Gardner says:

    You’re still the inspiring and amazing Sharisse I met sooo many years ago!!..One day, I hope we catch up and our families can meet. xox

    Like

  2. katedylan11Donna says:

    So awesome you started this! As with every creative enterprise you take, I look forward to more!
    My first step? A breath and the two words: “F@#k it.” Powerful, alchemic words if used for the right reasons, with the right heart.

    Like

  3. John E Coulter says:

    Like you advised yourself in piece in February, while waiting, need a distraction. “Just waiting” is indeed not a good thing. For a novel, one “add-on apps” is to challenge yourself to take a large sheet (back of KFC paper on their tray suits me, after I have finished eating) and try to graphically arrange the characters in your novel, either as a relatationship tree, or just in chronological appearance. It is said that for the Japanese classic, The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu cover the walls of his house with paper and timelines to fit in all the characters of four generations. He had to do it while writing to reconcile all the actions. Tolstoy’s War and Peace had 588 characters. Just thinkin Sharisse, could be fun to do a graphic plot. Would challenge you photographer’s eye to see the plot in one big picture. Best wishes.

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