(Full disclosure: I moved this text over from a Google Docs document I started when I first started thinking of starting a blog. Writing as though on a blog, but in a Google Doc, felt very Creed Thoughts, so it’s quite a relief to know this is going out on the actual internet.)
A few weeks ago I finished my second draft of a novel I wrote. Right now it’s out with a handful of generous people who were willing to read it. In the long run, I’d love to publish it–but for now I’m here, and here is in a welcome pause in the writing process while I wait for feedback.
It was a long process to write the thing, taking anywhere from six months to three years, depending on how you count. Mostly it happened in little half-hour chunks before or after work, or on weekends. There were times I thought I’d never finish. But somehow I wrote a whole book in 2017, about 115,000 words, then set it aside, and wrote it all again almost from scratch, about 130,000 words, in the first half of 2019.
In the last few months while I worked toward the finish line, I fantasized about what it would be like to be Future-Kate, who was done with the draft. She was going to read so many books, make the most of living through the Golden Age of Television (literally, what a time to be alive!), go out so much more, be much better at working out and socializing. She was going to sleep more and cook like a champ and deep-clean everything. But writing seems to breed writing. I’m Future-Kate, and I started this project. Go figure.
I plan to write more later on the ideation, writing, and editing processes. I also hope Further-Future-Kate will know more than I do: will the draft go into the ether like Creed’s thoughts, or become a “real” book? Although after spending that many hours on the drafts, there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure: either option has to be fine or else it isn’t worth doing. Writing has to be its own reward, because there are much better ways of spending time if it isn’t.