Sunday, April 28, 2013


Writing a first draft is the hardest thing in the world.

It's like waking up every day feeling hungover but never getting to take a drink. It's being acutely aware of every perfect sentence and description and cover in existence, while not having the time to read them, all the while feeling like you're never going to finish and will probably die on page 21 of a draft, pantless and alone. It's forgetting to eat and not being able to sleep, and having the neighbors steer their children away from you on account of the muttering and questionable hygiene.

It's staring at muted, charcoal sketches of characters for hours, with them smirking because they know you'll never figure them into full color. It's plotlines that veer, pick up speed, and crash into unforgiving dead ends, using your brain for their car bumper.

It's a sore back, sore eyes, sore wrists and sorely tested relationships.

It's not being able to wait to get home to finish a scene and capturing dialogue in the margins of menus and trade publications while nodding along with business associates and hoping you aren't promising something you can't deliver. It's dropping the post-it notes with your recalibrated outline in the hallway at work and not caring that your coworkers think you're threatening them.

It's that sentence you tossed off at midnight that still shines the next morning. It's the scene after that which opens up into a gleaming handful of possibilities. It's that moment when you're reduced to tears alongside your character. It's seeing the end in sight and dawdling because you don't want to let these characters or this story go.

Writing a first draft is the hardest thing in the world.


  1. There is so much truth in this post. SO MUCH. Love it. Thanks for sharing because it makes the rest of us feel not quite so alone in this insanity. :)

  2. First draft hell? I am there. Thank the heavens for those glimpses of promise and possibilities. My sanity clings to them...barely.

    1. You'll get there, Shari. Just hold on! :)

  3. I am there. At the moment things are good, but I'm dreading the complexity of the next few scenes.