Friday, July 31, 2015

5 Stages Of Grief After Finishing A First Draft

So this title is not entirely accurate, but I wanted to talk about the five stages I go through after having completed a first draft, this mainly goes for when I've done something like NaNoWriMo.

1. Excitement! - It's done! It's epic and I love everything about it, it came out exactly how I've been seeing it in my head and I can't wait to jump into revisions.

2. Exhaustion - I want to sleep all day every day because....that was so. much. WORK. Seriously. The thought of even looking at again makes me want to curl in a ball, make like a bear, and hibernate.

3. Despair - The exhaustion has faded after a week long coma(where I sleep till 3pm and watch lots of TV) and the world is so dark. I can't think of the book without the despair welling up and preparing to drag me back down into it's depths. I mean there's so much wrong with the book, my character has no character, my writing is flawed, DO YOU SEE THE SIZE OF THAT PLOT HOLE!? The world will never be okay again.

4. Shiny New Idea/Confliction - It's the middle of the night, I'm avoiding all thoughts of writing, because, hello! it's a mess! When bam. Shiny new idea arrives on a white horse, only what do I do? Do I jump right into this perfect, loving, new idea and ignore my book, or do I put the idea on hold and dive into the deep ocean to drown myself in revisions? I love the shiny new idea, it's shiny and new and promises such excitement, but the book! It's always lurking in the back of my mind and will not rest until all plot holes have been filled, all characters fleshed out, until all those pesky commas are fixed, and the plot bunnies chased out with pitch forks!

5. Acceptance - The moment you realize that the book was once a shiny new idea too, and that it can be that way again(shiny not new), but first you must devote time to it,. You must watch it grow, you must feed and water it, you must weed out all the bad seeds, you must find better metaphors. And so, leaving the despair behind and your shiny new idea off to the side, you dive into the endless darkness that is revisions.

Well, there you have it. Basically, I sleep, procrastinate, clean, bake and do anything possible until I can no longer ignore revisions. It's just a brief feeling of accomplishment, finishing a first draft, but it also gives you hope, my friends. Hope that one day it will be a shiny new hardcover book.


  1. OMG I love this post! I can totally relate. I remember having a shiny new idea in my head when I was 10, turning 11. My cousin was trying to get me to write fluffy novels, and when an idea of a fluffy book came to my head, I ran home from school and immediately searched for a notebook. I swear, I sleep-deprived myself because I would write my fluffy book in bed, scribbling away because i was so excited HAHA. Those were the days :)

    Anyway, revisions are annoying because you get this compulsive feeling of having to revise your first draft all the time. But I guess it takes time to ignore revisions! I love your last 2 sentences. Your words are perfect <3

    1. Haha, that's a story that I feel every writer has one similar too. It's like we get possessed with new ideas!

      Aw thanks. Personally, I have a love hate relationship about revisions, but it always starts with copious amounts of ignoring them. =)

  2. YES! This is so true. Writing can be quite a rollercoaster of emotion, can't it?

    1. Seriously! One minute I'm giddy, thinking 'oh yeah, I'm awesome'. The next I'm filled with despair! Luckily, it does eventually come back to the I'm awesome feeling even if it's only briefly, right? =)