Monday, February 11, 2013

Post-First-Draft-Creative-Exhaustion Syndrome

Last Friday I finished the first draft of book three in the Screwing Up Time series. Yay! It was the fastest I’ve ever written a first draft. It took three and one half months and the holidays were in there too.  I’m amazingly thankful.

But if you’ve never written a book before, you should know that writing “The End” is nothing like you see in the movies. In movies, the writer types “The End,” grabs the paper out of the typewriter, tosses it on a stack of papers, and smiles triumphantly. That cues the-worst-is-now-over-the-writer-will-conquer-the-world music. Very romantic. Very not true.

Here’s how it goes for me (and most writers I know). I type “The End.” Then, the first thought that goes through my mind, “Maybe I just wrote ‘The End’ because the ending is so bad that the reader would never know it’s the end unless I told them.”

The next three to five minutes is spent wondering how much the book sucks. A little, a lot, or toss it into the fire? However, having written other novels, I know this is post-first-draft-creative-exhaustion syndrome. The cure is to ignore self-doubt by chanting, “A first draft is a celebration of everything that can go wrong on a page.”  

Now two days have passed. It’s time to print out the tome, grab my red pens, my highlighters, and my multi-colored post-it flags. And so the editing begins. 

File:The End Book.png


  1. Congratulations and good luck on the first round of revisions!

  2. Ha! But that's awesome. I love writing the END, even though it's not quite the end, but it is a little satisfying.

  3. I love writing "The End" but invariably I feel lost afterwards because I'm so used to being in that world Iv'e written. Then I clean my house because it's usually a horrible pig-sty. :)

  4. I never write the end. I always feel like it's a lie, so I can't bring myself to do it.

    So glad you got through the zero draft! And good luck with revisions! I myself am in the middle of a full revise/rewrite. So I totally feel your pain. :)

  5. Congratulations on finishing your draft! :)

    Good luck with editing.

  6. Congratulations! Wow, you're getting to be almost as fast as Stuart Woods... he puts out three books a year now. (Isn't that insane?) Have fun with the editing. The "real" end is in sight.

  7. And once the editing ends, the process repeats itself. No wonder we writers are a little mad :)


  8. Congrats, writing "the end" sure gives a warm fuzzy feeling. Though this means more work to do, it also means you've just gotten off the first set of obstacles in the race. Cheering you on :)