Daily Reprieve

Daily Reprieve

 

 

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Image: pgurvrn.uhostfull.com

 

This is just a short blurb because it is Friday and it is a holiday weekend (Thank a Vet!) and I have a lot of serious editing and finalizing a novel to do over the three day weekend… mark my words, I will be a national best-selling author.

Usually, a reprieve is saved for things like religion and prison.

But every day I have to give myself a reprieve. I am a human being and while I desperately do my due diligence to be the best human on the planet, I at times falter.

And while some fuckups are not forgivable, some need to be because, hey… shit happens.

So if you’ve done something that you aren’t proud of and when you really pick it apart, that demon is nestled in your brain whispering awful things to you… you have to figure out a way to get in front of that and let it go. You need to forgive yourself. That demon needs to be smothered for good.

I held onto my demons for many years, beat the hell out of myself in every way (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically) and at the end of the day, I was still an empty shell of self-loathing. And I was not getting any better.

I can’t really tell you how to get to the point of giving yourself a reprieve… but if you’re sitting in a self-inflicted hell right now, it might be something to take a look at…

Self-loathing leads to terrible roads, and sometimes when we get lost on those roads, there is no way to get back. Don’t travel into that dark abyss too far… figure it out and find the light.  There is always light somewhere…

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The Draft

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The first draft. The revised draft. The final draft.

I completed my second NaNoWriMo project in November 2016 and am happy to say I just finished the revised draft of the same manuscript.

What does that mean? First, it meant a lot of cursing, tears and wanting to drive to the Grand Canyon just to throw my laptop in there. Then I could come back home and set the hard copy on fire.

After I calmed down and figured out that hey, this is the part that makes you a writer, buddy ol’ pal, I exhaled and…

While in Scrivener, I looked for ways to format it and pretty up the cover page. And how do I label the chapters for an e-book and, and… I had to slow myself down.

Whoa there, pardner.

I jump the gun sometimes… okay, a lot. And this is one of those times I want everything to go as smooth as possible! I can’t forget to dot one ‘i’.

So, in November, I wrote the first draft and when I was done I printed it out and put it away… for two months. While it sat I decided to do other things and…

  • I read books.
  • I painted things.
  • I tried to walk my cat (and still have scars to prove it).

Then, I took my printed manuscript, grabbed a highlighter and a red pen (and a giant mug of coffee. OK… several) and old school edited. Afterward, I made the changes on the computer copy and then…

It sat for another two weeks.

Then…

I put the whole damn thing in Scrivener. Yep! Chapter by chapter, I put it in there and that is where I edited, rewrote, and deleted parts of this manuscript that I am so nervous and excited about.

I wrote three books before this one and wherever they are, they taught me a lot and maybe I’ll get back into them one day; maybe not.

This manuscript, though… this one is the best one so far and I cannot wait to go back in and polish it up nice and shiny.

Do you have any manuscripts that never made it past the first draft stage? How long do you let your first draft sit before editing?