The Diary of my novel writing process: A First Attempt (section 2)

Keeping diary during my novel writing process was initially an idea that I thought would be interesting to read later down the line but after producing what follows I realise it was a necessity.

Here is my novel writing diary four months in until the end…

30/09/2018 12:23pm

My ‘Novel Ideas’ document which contains my chapter plan is now half complete, the chapters highlighted in green. I have always found so much satisfaction in ticking off lists and figured that in the digital world highlighting brings the same sense of achievement. The fact that the green is covering more than half pleases me no end and gives me the motivation to get to that place – the end.

Once I have a full first draft of my manuscript I am not only going to feel relieved and accomplished having completed an entire novel, I’ll be extremely proud to have stuck it out. Some chapters are much harder to write than others there’s no doubt. One’s with research or a special event from a slightly different culture like the Irish wedding are ones that I’m not overly comfortable with and won’t be until enough people who know have read it.

Writing about an Irish girl and Irish rituals, I have made sure that a close Irish Catholic friend of mine has been the first to read large chunks of my manuscript at a time. I am so grateful for her throughout this process as she is one who would tell me straight firstly about what she thinks of the idea and how it reads but also if I made mistakes within the Irishness.

I am grateful for every reader who willingly reads my work. All the feedback is great and I realise that most are biased being friends and family but it’s still feedback nonetheless.

48,602 words down, around 27,000 to go and hopefully a lifetime of success, launch parties and happiness. Perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself. We’ll see…

Sunday 14th October 2018

Thinking today about writing and its solitary ways. It may be the dreary weather outdoors or the three tequila shots that I consumed last night but I’m struggling today. The content I am writing is pretty sad too but I can usually handle this and move myself away from the story. Today, however, I’m finding it hard. The juggling of different projects. The not yet getting anywhere. The fact that time is ticking and I’m working relentlessly to make this work and the thought that it could all be for nothing and I’d be back to square one.

I’m never usually this down about it but today I’m feeling a splurge of the difficulties that, I am sure, all writers face. You sit at your desk creating these extra worlds and people to worry about. You write things that perhaps are for a commission or a course and don’t particularly interest you but it has to be done.

In fact, as is always the case, writing this down has lifted the heavy weight off of my shoulders and I am sat with a fresh coffee ready to keep on going, because after all that is what you have to do, keep going until you get somewhere.

29/11/2018

Final chapter. Flapjack on desk for energy. Coffee for more energy. Window open to let final motivation in. George’s birthday so feeling good. Up early, presents, write. Write. Write. Write.

27/01/2019

The feedback. Feeling thrilled (and shocked) still to have finished my first novel and thoroughly grateful already for the support from friends and family. I have handed it out in hard copy and PDF form to a number of people but with Christmas and New Year it has taken a while to receive feedback.

It’s always good when people support you in something that you love and that is exactly what is happening so far. My mum is the first to have finished and discussing my novel, my characters and my plot line over our bangers and mash this evening has been somewhat surreal. I even read aloud the final two chapters to my sister who liked what she heard and isn’t a reader herself. I must admit I was rather proud of what I had written, words that I had forgotten about entirely. Exciting times ahead, I hope, exciting times indeed.

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