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My First Draft Took Seventeen Years

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Once upon a time in the year 2002, I began writing a story. I began many projects in my youth, but none were ever finished, so in order not to jinx this one, I called this The-Story-I'm-Not-Writing. If I wasn't writing it, I couldn't stop writing it, right?

Seventeen years later--and one week ago today--I finished the first draft of this novel.

It took half of my life to do.

Just finishing the first draft is a dream come true. Even if I progress no further than this, I am satisfied knowing I wrote a book. I had the discipline, despite seventeen years of distractions, to see this project to completion.

This milestone is freeing because it means the story that's been fighting to get out of me is finally out. I no longer have the burden of holding it in.

But it also means I have a new burden: the reminder of how much work I have left to do. I have come far, but I've still so far to go.

And now, the terrain is completely foreign. I had to celebrate and psych myself up for the next phase.

So, naturally, I celebrated this unprecedented (or shall I say, "novel"? BADUM-CHA!) event by gorging myself at the fanciest restaurant I know and washing that down with a week off. If you'd worked on a project for seventeen years, wouldn't you say you'd earned a week's vacation too?

Seventeen years seems like waaay too long, but I also know I couldn't have written this book earlier (*squee* Guys, I wrote a BOOK!).

I couldn't have written it, because I wasn't who I needed to be yet.

This is what it took to get me from point A to Z:

  • 17 years

  • 60,300+ words

  • 207 pages

  • 19 chapters

  • 9 computer files

  • 7 jobs

  • 5 notebooks

  • 4 revisions

  • 4 computers

  • 3 homes

  • 3 states

  • 1 extensive iPhone note

  • and countless people who believed in me (you know who you all are, you freakishly gorgeous people!)

Seventeen years.

I've been watching Liam develop for over half my life. He's grown with me. And now he gets to watch me pwn more than just the first draft; I'm gonna be revising, reading, revising, getting beta readers, revising, querying, and getting published. (You heard.)

I told you I'm coming to a bookshelf near you. Prepare thyselves. Homie don't play.



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