A Bad First Draft

First of all, Happy 2016! I hope all of you, my lovely readers, have a great start to the year and much happiness ahead.

Second, I thought I would update you on how the book writing is going. 

I've read the first draft, and let's me just put it out there: it was not good. And this isn't some sort of coy false modesty. Thing is, I tried to write a memoir of my first year (or so) as an American expat living in London and I really got in the way of it. I was clearly too chicken to really dive into the story, so I filled a lot of the pages with copious nonsense about my observations of expat life in the U.K. or stories from my childhood which were only tangentially related to the main narrative. Some parts of it even read like really long blog posts. It was disjointed and weird and I'm so glad that no one else is going to ever ever read that draft. 

The morning after I read it, I told the Hub, "It's fine, I'm not upset, I knew the structure was a little bit of a cop out and that I'd need to substantially re-work it."

But by the afternoon I had burst into tears.

Because of course, on some level, I had hoped that it would be brilliant. That I wouldn't really need to do much more work on it at this stage and could just hand it over to an editor. 

Unfortunately, I've read too much of other people's work and my own to know when something is good and when it isn't. 

Fortunately, I have figured out how I will attempt to fix it with draft #2. I've been wanting to write a non-fiction more self-help type book anyway, and will be using my drive to write something with a memoir feel for that (stay tuned). In the meantime, I'm going to lightly disguise my expat experience in a first-person fiction format. My first draft has at least given me the narrative structure for that.  

So I wrote one draft in 2015 and now need to carve it up into two books in 2016! 

At least I have something to keep me busy. As if that's the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night. 

Photo credit: Nerdy way to sort books via photopin (license)


  1. You go, girl! Love your determination!

    1. There's only one way to move. Forward. Hope you had an amazing holiday -- look forward to hearing all about it!!


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