Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Life in Drafts

I wrote the first draft of my tenth book in the winter of 2012. 

That year my son was graduating from high school and I was on the verge of a book deal but wasn't sure if the deal would ever actually go through. This particular first draft was weirdly fun to write. Book number 10! and up to that point, none of the other nine had been published! 

So mostly I was just writing for myself, month after gray wintery month, playing around with a meandery, blathery plot, a mostly stream of consciousness narrative, something I knew even then, when I "finished" it, would need a ton of work. 

But then the book deal came through, and I spent the summer editing, and in the fall I started reworking another manuscript, and then another manuscript, and meanwhile, I was promoting and traveling and teaching like crazy, and that draft from the winter of 2012 stayed tucked in a computer file, undisturbed and unread and unremembered--

--until this past fall, when I metaphorically dusted it off, took a seriously look at it, and decided it was worth a second round.

Thus began Draft 2, the bulk of it reworked during the winter of 2016. I "finished" it a couple of weeks ago, 

a few days before my son graduated from college. 

Which says something about something about time flying and wasn't it just yesterday that I was stressing about his college acceptances and word count goals and what's with this stream of conscious style anyway and how many people are coming to the high school graduation party 


how many people are coming to the college graduation party and does this crazy stream of consciousness style work or not and why is it taking me a week to write one scene and when exactly is my son moving across country to start his job?

I think it was T.S. Eliot who said he measured out his life in coffee spoons.

Apparently, I measure out my life in drafts. 



  1. Congrats on the graduation and on the completion of the draft! Every book is its own journey, right?

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! It's true. I keep learning this again and again :)