Burning The Old Drafts


After finishing my first book, I decided to start a new ritual: burning the old drafts. Not quite as cathartic as slapping a finished stamp on it and uploading it to the kindle store, and seeing hundreds of hours of work going up in flames did leave me feeling somewhat bittersweet, but in the end it was a nice way of mentally declaring myself finished.

Now I have some experience of what to expect, I outlined my plans for this next book and figured out how long it would take to finish each draft. It’ll be a struggle to finish before the end of the year, especially if I plan to take a month’s break halfway through while I toss it to my alpha readers. I know a lot of authors who recommend a break of 3 to 6 months to gain some perspective, and I think it’s something worth trying this time around. I’ll just take a month though, and use that time to write first draft of the third and final book in the series.

I expected to hop straight back in to writing last week, but turns out my brain wasn’t having any of it and wanted to decompress some more before starting work again. So after a few days of trying to force it and getting nowhere, I gave in and decided to enjoy a few days off to sort out the garden/jungle/nature reserve. While trimming the world’s spikiest bush, I realised something between the bouts of cursing. Two of my main interests include writing and gardening. Now I just need the slippers and pipe, and I’ll complete the slide in to ‘old man.’

In other news, physical book sales are on the rise. Great news. Except for maybe the people just now trying to break in to selling ebooks… My timing always has been impeccable.

Photo by Gavin Zanker licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Internationalc.

2 thoughts on “Burning The Old Drafts”

  1. Gardening and writing are a good combination. Garden images lend themselves to writing — spiky bushes, for instance. Sentences that have to be untangled, paragraphs that give you no way in. About taking time off — writers I know have different experiences and opinions about that. The more prolific seem to have overlapping projects, e.g., when one is making the rounds to agents or publishers, the next is getting under way. That seems to help them avoid postpartum depression. Push on with the ebooks! I like physical books too, but it’s harder to get them into readers’ hands.

    1. Seems just like with anything writing related, everyone has a different way of doing things. I remember feeling buried under my work the first time when I took no break, so I think overlapping projects could help alleviate that feeling of constant burden. Have you tried overlapping, or do you prefer working on one project at a time?

      Postpartum depression is quite a strong term, but I can certainly see how someone could treat their book as a baby. For me though, I think I’ve already moved on. My book is out, I sold some copies, and a handful of my friends even gushed to me about how much they enjoyed the book. I went in with no expectations, and so that’s a result in my eyes.

      While sales numbers are fluctuating a bit, I don’t think it really impacts anyone except big publishers, so I’m not too worried about sticking with ebooks for the near future. I much prefer physical books, and when I finish my first series I’ll look in to Createspace and see about releasing some paperbacks. Would you say you’ve had more success with digital or physical sales with your own work?

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