If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.
The rough draft of what I now affectionately refer to as “my monstrosity” (it having come out to over 80,000+ words) is finished. By finished, I mean there is a beginning, a middle, and an end, and they’re all connected in a way that makes sense…at least to my brain. It will be up to the beta readers to tell me if that’s true.
It’s very odd reaching the end of a rough draft. I will not say book, because it isn’t a book yet. The story is there; now it’s a matter of polishing and rewriting to get it as close to the picture inside my head as possible. Anyways, it’s odd to sit at the computer, type the words ‘The End’ and not have blank spots scattered throughout, waiting for a chapter or paragraph to be inserted in the search for a full and seamless narrative. It’s odd because, while the story is complete, the work has only just begun to make it right. As I’ve discovered over the past months, the first words that grace your story will be bad. Sometimes horrendously. In fact, if you ever pray for humility, watch out. You may find yourself inspired to put pen to paper. It’s harder to think yourself all that after seeing what will come out of your brain.
One thing I wasn’t expecting, upon “finishing” the draft, was the sense of loss. Yes, there was the initial excitement of having written, however currently cringeworthy, a complete manuscript. But after nine months of focusing on what happens next, next having happened takes some getting used to. It’s all there, more or less. Yes, things will be rewritten, but that initial burst of creativity is over. I can see why, despite all the frustration and long hours, people continue to write book after book, even if they are never published. There is so much joy in creation.
So here is to the writing of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, rough drafts. A thing worth doing is worth doing badly. Just don’t neglect the next step of trying to make it better.