My sprained ankle had it’s benefits – LOTS of time sitting on my arse. And so, one week ago, I finished my first draft of my first novel.
A first draft is a big achievement I suppose. The only problem is that it’s far too long and, as I decided once I started editing it, it’s also far too shit. As I read I crossed half the paragraphs out. Boring boring boring. The whole 690 page manuscript sucks.
When I finally allowed one of my friends to have a read I noticed something: he was laughing. He was laughing a lot.
“See all these bits you’ve crossed out – they’re really funny…”
I suppose that’s a good sign.
“You just need to take a long break from the book – read it in a few months time with fresh eyes.”
Easier said than done.
I want to give the manuscript to a few people to read and give me some for feedback on how I might be able to cut it in half. I also need to give it to people who are in the book, so they can decide if they want their name changed or details omitted.
But before I do anything I just want to add this… and change that… and edit this… and to a bit more research for that part…
“Step away from the book. Step away from the book… GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!” Another friend demanded.
She was right to do so. This book is driving me crazy. I’m even editing it in my dreams. I’m going round in circles. I need to step away. I need to shut it away, at least for one month. I reluctantly handed her my only printed copy. Then I took the photographic storyboard down from my wall.
Now what??? This book has been my life for the last few months – what else am I supposed to do with my time? What is normal life like? My mind is blank.
Oh yeah, work. Earn a little dosh and stop eating up my savings. And I could, like, have fun. Read other people’s books, check out the art galleries near my place, watch movies, learn the guitar that’s been eyeing me since two Christmases ago. Try to get my uni dissertation published. And as soon as my ankle is better – start teaching pilates again, get my scuba-diving licence, get a scooter licence and a scooter. All the things I’ve been putting off for far too long.
So today’s the first day of a new life chapter. One that doesn’t revolve around this book. And I will to try my best not to look at the book for an entire month. Let’s see if I have more success with this pledge than I did my with my February detox (FYI I never got back on that horse…)
Video clip matching the second last chapter of my book:
Chapter 33: Redemption – Rio De Janeio
If you haven’t already, do check out the boy’s New York City to Rio blog: www.nyc2rio.com – there’s some amazing writing, photos and stories on there.
The Beatles – Revolution
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Redemption Song
Missing video-chapters have not been posted to prevent eluding a spoiler – I’m hoping you’ll read my book first!