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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Number Four, Saved from the Drawer - IWSG April 2023


Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of  Alex Cavanaugh.  To find other contributors, click here. 
Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre.

April’s optional question: Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

An author with whom I am acquainted once wrote that she kept working on her first novel because after all her effort, she “didn’t want it to end up in the drawer.” Persistence paid off. Her first novel was published to much acclaim.

As I’ve written here previously, my first attempt at a novel occurred ages ago, after I completed the lessons in The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. While I was proud to finish a draft, I had zero clue how to edit my initial mess. That dilemma led me to take a Grub Street writing class, which inspired me to join a writing group. I took more classes, started another novel, joined a different writing group and completed two more novels. Somewhere along the line I came to believe that my first unfortunate attempt had been lost due to a corrupt thumb drive.

That brings us to two summers ago when I was struggling. I’d managed to get myself writing again after losing my sweet Tim, but for the most part all I’d been doing was completing these blog posts and editing (again!) my two most recent novels. That lasted until I queried them a bit more and ran out of gas.

I had (and still have) no desire to begin writing another novel from scratch, but that summer I was pawing through some files looking for something and I found a printout of that awful first draft from years ago in my desk drawer. It had been beside me all along.

Thankfully, the thing was as much as mess as I remembered because it offered a challenge when I needed one most. Almost two years and several drafts in, I no longer shudder to read it.

So, do I remember my first novel? Well, yes. Technically, my first novel is now my fourth. I worked on it this just morning, ever so grateful to have pulled it out of the drawer.

What was your first book like? Was it published?