From First Draft to Publication

My poor blogs have been rather neglected lately as I have succumbed to a bout of writers’ block. This isn’t the first time I have struggled with this, but it’s certainly the time when I can least to afford to be suffering from this terrible affliction.

For me, writers’ block has always been a reflection of my self-doubt and the haunting fear that I’m just not good enough to achieve my goal of being a published author. I’ve had scripts I’ve written used on an internationally screened TV drama and articles published in newspapers and magazines, but that does nothing to soothe the ragged nerves I’m facing now.

I’ve recently received the kind of feedback on the first draft of my first novel, that I would put in ‘my wildest dreams’ category. It’s been read by a top literary agent who also had a reader’s report done for me and they were both overwhelmingly positive. The words ‘a very good chance of being published’ were actually used. The agent has asked me to send in my rewrites when I’ve completed them which, at my current rate of progress,will be sometime in 2015.

Motivated? No. Scared witless that I won’t be able to deliver the goods. People talk about the second novel syndrome, for me it’s the second draft syndrome. What if I only ever had one good draft in me?

But I have a cunning plan to outwit the incredibly protective critic who is only trying to prevent me from being disappointed when my dream of publication is shattered in  the bottom of an editor’s recycling bin. And this is the first part of my plan, go public! Share the news that I am rewriting and that I have a goal to finish it by the end of February 2012.

Part 2 of the plan is very exciting. I am going away on a week-long meditative writing trip to Luang Prabang in Laos with my writing mentor extraordinaire, Jan Cornall and a group of four or five others. Everyday for a week I will have to front up and write, read my work and listen to feedback. There will be nowhere to hide, no excuses available.(Except visiting temples and elephant trekking)

I arrive in Luang Prabang on the 20th November, so instead of taking part in NaNoWriMo, I am doing my own private NaNoRewriMo, but feel free to join me. In fact, I’d love a cheer squad.  And I will take you along for the ride on my journey from first draft to (possible) publication.

Hitting Your Mark - the first draft