August 4, 2013

It's Done

So I've finished the first draft of my third book. And if you've ever written a manuscript, painted a painting, composed a song, completed a PHD, renovated a house, or gestated a baby, you'll know how amazing that feels.

Writing a book is different for everyone. There are pantsers (as in, 'fly by the seat of their...'), who write as they go along, and plotters, who plan everything. And then there's me. I get a general idea of what I want to write about, start in a rush of enthusiasm, write 20 or 25 thousand words of a rough script with wild abandon, think "Oh my god, what I have I done", run out of steam for a bit, then pick it up again and labouriously, painstakingly, fill in the blanks.

There are times when it flows, beautifully. I can't stop writing; I resent having to get up from the computer to make dinner, do the laundry, or interact with other human beings (including my long suffering children). And there are times when it is hard, really, horribly hard, when the words don't come or a section just doesn't work and I have to force myself to get through it.

There are times I look at my word count and think, "GOD I've come far!", and other times I think "I am never, EVER going to finish this fucking thing." And inevitably, with every book, there is at least one moment when I decide the whole thing is utter crud and I have to throw it out and start again with a new idea.

But the key to finishing is this: I don't throw it out. I push on. And I finish.

Once the first draft is finished and I have my word count, then the fun begins. Because then I get to go back to the beginning and fiddle. And I love fiddling. It's just a question of fine tuning, putting a paragraph in there, taking a line out here, changing a word there, and making sure I don't use too many semi-colons. I'm addicted to them; I could use them in every sentence; they are awesome.

There is little more satisfying in life than finishing a big project. For me, it's writing books. For you, it may be something different. But if you haven't already, finish it. FINISH. Because even if this book is crap, even if no-one publishes it, even if someone publishes it and no-one buys it, even if someone publishes it and someone buys it but they give it a bad review.... no-one can ever take away the feeling of satisfaction I have right now.

And that is worth pushing on for.

(P.S. I'm not announcing the subject or title of my book until after it gets sold to a publisher. Which please god it will. Nothing will take away my satisfaction at completing it, but I damn well want to sell it, too!)

54 comments:

  1. Congratulations Kerri! Can't wait to read it after you sell it for an embarrassing sum to all international markets and Hollywood.

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  2. congratulations! That's a thrill I identify with. I'm just finished one and am in the final push stages of another which has taken an unbelievably long time and I can't wait to type THE END. Enjoy the moment!

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  3. so what role will Simon Baker have in it, i wonder? you DID write a role for Simon Baker in it, didn't you Kerri?


    Kerri … ? xt

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  4. MAZAL TOV! You have done well. It's been a big year for you (with big meaning, well you know what) but in the midst of that you have created something that will last forever. I am so damn proud of you

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  5. Congratulations! Can't wait to read it. xo

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  6. Weeeeeeeee! Good job xxxx

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  7. How amazing!!
    Well done, YOU! :D
    I am in awe - three books? You must feel over the moon.
    Having a celebration drinkie?
    I'm pouring one now - cheers to you! :P

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  8. Congrats!


    I'm 40,000 words into my 1st book... so I have some catching up to do!


    I'll keep using you as one of my inspirations to realise my dream one day. So, keep writing, because you inspire me to keep writing...


    :)

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  9. I love your line, "There are times when it flows, beautifully. I can't stop writing." May your writing always flow ;)

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  10. I can feel your excitement in your words and it makes me feel sooo happy for you.
    You are amazing in that no matter what you have to face you do so with such positive energy and a great sense of humour.
    Your book will sell as you have a wonderful track record and you are loved by so many.x

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  11. Congratulations! So happy for you - and totally agree with everything you've said in your post! X

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  12. Oh My God Kerri! I just finished the first draft of my first novel. We are like twins now. Forever. Okay so maybe not, but I totally get what you are feeling right now, although for me it hasn't really sunk in. I'm shelving mine for the next month or so then looking forward to tinkering with the second draft. I'm so excited for us both!!!

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  13. Woo hoo! You GO girl! Amazing achievement. Trust me. I know!!!! xxxxxxxx

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  14. You would know, you absolutely prolific star, you x

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  15. Thanks Deb. You are always SO kind and SO supportive and I truly appreciate it x

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  16. WOW. Well done YOU!!! To both of us!

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  17. LOL. I'll just settle for Australia! Quite happily! xxxxx

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  18. ALL of my books have a role for Simon. As do all my blog posts, all my tweets....

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  19. Woot!! Soooo excited for you K :)

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  20. Thank you, you fabulously talented thing x

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  21. WOHOO!!! Huge congrats! Can't wait to hear more :)

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  22. Congrats ... I hope it exceeds your expectations. I write every day and keep going to start the book but have not gotten to it. :-) Lots of ideas just have to put them together. As you know it can be frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. lol

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  23. WOW. A huge big wow, hon .... what a big year. And you've still done Big Things. Really bloody proud of you, wishing all the power and strength you need xxxxx

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  24. Congratulations - a marvellous achievement! Look forward to reading the new book :)

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  25. Hurrrah!! I am so, SO proud of you*- what an amazing thing to have achieved given everything else you've had on your plate this year.** It will sell squillions!!!

    *and a bit jealous. Now you have time, please finish mine too. Thanks.
    **aside from Nutella, that is.

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  26. Congrats on finishing it :) and good luck with selling it :)

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  27. Well done, Kerri. I rememember when you had NO books published. Now look at you. Just in time too, as I was looking for something to read, having just finished Woman's Weekly..... ;-D

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  28. Wow! A hat trick of books! You're amazing. I love the way you sum up the ebb and flow of the words, from the word tsunamis when the words just won't stop coming to the droughts, when nothing comes out. I just finished Counselling Workbook 3 of 18 and I was so excited, anyone would have thought I'd have graduated with flying colours, even though I've got a long way to go the sense of achievement was palpable. I love how you've turned your cans into plans - that's inspirational. I bet this book will sell better than freshly baked bagels! Go you!

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  29. Wow! I am in awe of you. Writing my thesis at uni was hard enough. But a book! A whole book. That must have been a whole lotta Nuttella consumed!

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  30. Well done, Kerri! I struggle with my own attempts at finishing things; in fact starting them also poses some challenges. So does most of the stuff in between. Unless it is food.

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  31. Oh! Bagels! Me too. THANK YOU. And good luck with the studies! x

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  32. You remember when I didn't have a BLOG. Cause you suggested I start one!!!!! xxxxxxx

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  33. Won't finish yours. But I'll launch it! *hint hint*

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  34. And may it go right back to you honey xxx

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  35. YES. It totally can be. Yours will come x

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  36. I will tell all soon. Well, sort of soon...

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  37. Ah, yes. We were both young and foolish, in those early days....;-)

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  38. Congratulations! Of course I'll be there as one of the first buyers so I have a set of Kerri. Could be collectible one day, once you're a Hollywood celeb and on the arm of Mr Baker.
    Seriously, can't wait to see what's next. xxx

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