It has been a mighty long time since I sat down and filled y'all in on what is happening in my life. In April I announced I would be taking a break from regular blogging in order to focus on finishing my first draft. Good news: I did that! Bad news: the draft was terrible.
The time away from regular blogging definitely allowed me to devote more attention to my writing and, because of that, I realized I had made some mistakes along the way. Big mistakes. Massive, "is that an iceberg ahead? Nah, just a low-hanging cloud. Full speed ahead, Titanic!" mistakes. So, I scrapped my first first draft. Now, I'm writing my second first draft. (It's not as confusing as it sounds.)
In the moments after I closed the notebook I'd written my first first draft in and decided to toss it away, it felt like a huge set back. I was upset that I'd spent so much time on something that wasn't working, and that it had taken me so long to realize it wasn't working. I started doubting whether I'd ever finish a book, whether I should pack it up entirely and go find a real adult job with actual money. Basically, I spiraled into a black hole of self-pity. However, with a little time and perspective, I realized I was making the right choice for myself and my novel. Sometimes it is better to start over with a clean slate than it is to continue puttying together the broken fragments of your story. Sometimes you have to take several steps back before you can take a leap forward. (Sometimes you use too many metaphors to explain the same thing.)
Fast forward two months later, and I'm so happy to announce I've taken a huge leap forward. I'm meeting my word count nearly everyday (which was something that rarely happened on the first first draft), and I'm projected to be done with my second first draft by the end of July. I know I've said that before, but I think I really mean it this time….I hope…maybe. No, I definitely mean it this time. I'll be done by the end of July! Cutting off the dead weight of my first first draft and starting over has left me feeling much more confident about my abilities, about my idea, and about the publish-ability of this book. Plus, as a fun bonus, when I'm not devoting all of my mental power to my second first draft, I think I have an idea for a second book percolating in my brain! I've freed myself up creatively to focus on my writing, and I can really see the benefits.
I'm still not going to commit to regular blogging, but I will continue to post book reviews. (I've been in a MASSIVE reading slump for the last few weeks that has kept me from finishing a single book I've started. Thankfully, I'm crawling out of it now, so book reviews should start being more regular.) Speaking of books, I bought SO. MANY. BOOKS. in May. So, I thought I'd share them with you! Fun fact: all of these books cost me a TOTAL of $30 - though, that is not including the Tin House literary magazine, which cost me $30 for a one-year subscription. Thriftbooks.com has the best deals on used books anywhere on the internet, in my humble opinion. Check them out and let me know what you buy, because, in my experience, you can't get on the website without finding at least one insane deal you can't live without. Did I mention you get free shipping in the US if you spend $10? Can't beat that.
- Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (Penguin Modern Classics Edition-New from BookDepository.com)
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Penguin Modern Classics Edition - New from BookDepository)
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (Used from Thriftbooks)
- The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (Used from Thriftbooks)
- Mythology by Edith Hamilton (Used from Thriftbooks)
- Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (Used from Thriftbooks - hardback!)
- Tin House: Summer Reading, Volume 17 Number 4
That is how things are going for me right now. Thanks for reading this, and for sticking around even though I've been a little MIA the last couple months. What has been happening in your life? Read any great books? Seen any great movies? Let me know in the comments!