A few minutes ago I was looking for something in my office and came across this:
It's a stack 8" high (see the ruler to prove it?) of drafts, clippings, books, notebooks, ideas, etc. that I've gathered while writing Born to Fly. A good 3" of it are drafts of the manuscript -- and those are just the versions I printed out.
There are a lot more drafts on my computer. A LOT. In fact, I decided to count them...
Oh my gosh, there are 31 edits!
Honestly, it was painful to look through some of them and remember all the work. It was also funny. I'd half forgotten that the name of the main character, Blossom, used to be Boris. The title used to be The Secret of the Cocoon (but my 1-person focus group -- my then-11-year-old niece Hailey -- said it sounded like a boring science book).
There were charts and plots planners and pages of back story, oh my. There were sheets of A14 paper that I printed out at an internet cafe' in Thailand when I was researching the book. There were marked-up drafts from my writer's group. (I'm sure I'm in their piles, too.) There were diagrams of plot and changing character emotions and growing conflict.
I'm sure that some of the pages had my blood all over them.
I could label this Friday-afternoon-diversionary-exercise as "Painful" but it's also "Amazing" because:
1. Last fall I published Born to Fly as an ebook.
2. My non-profit is about to publish a wordless book based on Born to Fly along with a companion curriculum -- all part of the Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking.
Don't even ask how many drafts of the curriculum I went through. (Painful)
Writing a book = a lotta work
I'm telling you this because all of us (me included) are constantly shocked how difficult it is to write a book.
If it were easy, more people would do it.
But if it were impossible, Amazon would not be in business and every town wouldn't have a library.
So don't stop. Keep writing. Keep building your own amazing stack of drafts.
Meanwhile, I'm heading to the recycling bin.