I recently finished the second draft of my wee book, handed it out to my trusted reader friends and then my head caved in. Not through anxiety or other fear driven emotional neuroses. My brain is not very big and it’s been forced to work really hard and now it’s tired. A sage like friend compared it to chewing gum.
It needs time to reform or it’ll be no good to me. She knows because she’s recently experienced something similar and come out the other side.
I should know better. The same thing happened when I finished the first draft. Difficulties functioning, not thinking straight or even round corners and wandering dazedly around wondering what I was supposed to be doing. Had a post half written for last week for example and then just shut the lid on the heat of this wee laptop.
So they, my trusted reader friends, gave the ms some feedback. It was great. They know books. Their comments are worth its weight in Unobtainium. Between them, my discerning, well read and writer/reader-muscle-toned inquisitors raised some knife’s edged insights, unearthed questions and gave an essentially flawed text a Ray Winstone style technical workover. Made me think a lot. Helped my book and my writing a lot. I’m very grateful. Humbled too.
As with any draft there are suspect aspects. Best of all though, the story hangs well together, it’s imaginative, the main protagonists are engaging and the humour is warm and genuinely funny. For these and a handful of other reasons I feel like I’m onto something. Its a good feeling. A feeling writers don’t allow themselves to enjoy often or long enough – so the wife keeps telling me.
I just wanted to say thanks for looking after me.