Each author regards the first draft differently. Ernest Hemingway said that “The first draft of anything is s—t.”
Nicholas Sparks has another view, “Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It's one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.”
Today, after I tore off the last page of February from my calendar, I typed in the period to the last sentence of the first draft of my next book with the working title, “Gifts of Compassion.”
I don't think it's s—t. It still needs a lot of work, but the framework is there.
And there's that indistinct thrill in a tiny part of my heart when I printed (yes, I print every single page every step of the way!) the last chapter.
Finishing the first draft isn't the most enjoyable part of writing either. For me, the most enjoyable part of writing is writing itself. Joy comes with the first draft up until the last page of the final manuscript—till the next book, blog, or blook.
But I celebrate grace—every minute milestone of the writing process.
Today I am putting up a new header that reminds me of book writing.
First an idea is birthed in an author's head, then it is kept safe and nested in a computer hard disk where it incubates, and finally hatched with the manuscript of the first draft.
But like a newly hatched bird, which has to be nurtured with God's air, sunlight, and sustenance, the first draft has to be polished, burnished, and finished before it can fly.
My old header gets retired:
For “Gifts of Compassion” I abandoned teaching for one term and did nothing but write. Bliss. I celebrate with the verses which came to life for me as I wrote finis to the last page of my first draft.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV)