Stephen King could not have said it better. There is a lot of hard work in birthing your baby, especially when it is your first born, and I am referring to your first draft of course. But if that is what you have set your mind and heart into, a life of writing for a living, then don’t waver in keeping the objective ahead of you, working towards that very first, seemingly illusive draft. I have detailed my take on Heinlein’s 5 simple rules to take you there, well, at least in getting your first draft out.
In this article, I am going to share with you the insights that I have when I completed my first draft. To me, they are very important, in a way that they set my mindset on the right path towards my aspiration as a professional writer.
The first and most important insight I gather, when I completed my first draft is that I shattered the biggest doubt barrier to the conviction that I can do it. When I have the first draft, the firstborn in my arms, I know that the second, third and the rest of my future projects are given. That fear of ever finishing my next project will no longer be there. Like magic, I have a quantum jump in my confidence department. I can now focus my energy on getting better for my subsequent projects.
Secondly, holding the first draft in my hand, I validated the process that I have taken, works and hesitate not, in following it, honing it, improving upon it for my next undertaking. In other words, I became a believer in the skill sets and process laid down before me, strengthening my faith in it, imprinting a trusting mindset on the process.
The third thought I have is the understanding of what other authors had shared or have been telling me. I, now, know for sure over what they have said bear much wisdom. Their insights carry weight and are proven to be good and I would be more trusting in the wise thoughts which they passed on and would be more receptive towards other good advice they have kindly volunteered.
In the quote by Stephen King above, he struck a chord in me with what he said, making tons of sense. Having gone through my first cut, I know what he meant by hard work and his comparison between salt and talent. It’s a lot of hard work as the saying goes, success is 90% perspiration and 10% talent, in getting yourself there on the pinnacle where you aspire for.
Well, if you have made it, cutting your first draft, congratulations! You should give yourself a pat on your back. You made it finally and you know that you validated the process that you followed and your future projects are within your reach as you can confidently repeat the same process you followed for your next work of art.
For those who have not completed your first draft, I would encourage you to push on, fretting not over the amount of necessary hard work you lavish on your baby. Once you cross that threshold, the barrier, from your week after week of words target to your first draft, you will know the feeling, first hand, over what I have described above. You made it and the world of writing is your pearl. Whichever genre you thought of doing, the story is yours for the telling.
Cheers, and best wishes to you and your first baby!