Novel writing is a marathon, not a sprint. 

I need to remember this. Growing a story from an idea takes time. My current idea came to me almost a year ago, after a specially, vivid dream.  I jotted it down in my story ideas file for future use. I wasn't writing at the time, having stopped due to stress and health reasons. It has been my experience  even though I stop writing, the ideas don't stop coming. When I lost my job, I  decided to start writing again. I went through my list of ideas and it called to me. 

NaNoWriMo was approaching and I had a shiny, one sentence idea. How would I write 50,000 words based on one sentence? Enter my writing group and a technique we stole from a fellow writer. They threw me a novel "bash" where my one sentence would be expanded into characters, setting, and plot. Without my fellow Yetis, I would've been lost. They helped me expand my idea into not one book, but three if all goes as planned. 

After plotting, I wrote my rough draft in one month and "won" NaNoWriMo. I completed this feat with caffeine, anti-inflammatories, sheer determination. Now comes the hard part, taking my rough draft and polishing it till it becomes the story I want to tell. Editing doesn't come easy to me, it never has. This is why I have so many half finished, unedited novels on my hard drive. For me, editing is tedious and time consuming. 

Last week, my online writing group held a chat with a published author about editing. It helped me get past a roadblock I encountered. The author mentioned spending two years (please correct me if I heard wrong) editing a novel. This helped me to relax and stop worrying about the time it was taking me to go from rough draft to second rough draft. My game plan is to finish a rough second draft then print it out and read it all at once, taking notes. From my notes, I want to compose a third draft to send to my beta readers. This will not happen over night. 

Novel writing is a marathon. I have been in training for ten years.


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