Hello, friends! I’m surprised I have any words left in me to type because I just finished the first draft of my very first novel at 76,479 words!!
I’ve been wanting to write a book since I was in elementary school. I remember looking up at the clouds while my mom was driving one day and thinking, “I wonder what would happen if people lived in the clouds and got in a war” and then I started writing a book about it. It was called “Cloud Wars”- very original, I know. I spent years working on it, and I remember how excited I was when I reached 100 pages. I was still working on it when I was 12, but that’s when I realized that my story concept was bad and the plot was full of holes and it was just awful all over the place, so I stopped working on it and it died when my parents’ old laptop stopped turning on.
I’ve been writing stories since I can remember. Even though my dream profession changes often, “writer” always remains in the background. “I want to be a counselor and a writer.” “I want to be a public speaker and a writer.” And even now, “I want to work in public relations and be a writer.”
I got an idea for a new story when I was a junior in high school and was struggling through eating disorder recovery. I wanted to read a book about a girl like me, who was starving herself and wanted to stop but had no one to help her. There were no decent books that didn’t contain exact calorie counts and didn’t trigger me, but I wanted there to be.
And then I had the idea to write one.
I’ve had this idea in my head for years. The plot has changed a lot since then- it started out being about an actual literal princess- but the premise has stayed the same.
The main reason I haven’t written it until now is because “I didn’t have time”, or rather, I wasn’t making time for it.
This semester, with my creative writing class and being around other writers, I decided that I was going to write that dang book if it killed me. So when making my schedule for the spring, I intentionally blocked out an hour each day so I could have “writing time”.
I outlined the whole story out and created characters and I was ready to start writing in January when the spring semester started.
I started writing in November.
I don’t know what it was- excitement, ideas itching to get out, or watching YouTube videos of girls who wrote books, but something made me feel like I could not wait until January.
I wrote almost 2,000 words every single day- some days way more- and had a goal of 80,000 words. After a week of writing, I realized that I could finish the first draft by the end of the year! I was ecstatic!
Then I kept going over my word count goal, and I pushed it up to Christmas. I could be done by Christmas! I could be done before Christmas! I could be done by the time I’m done with finals!
A week ago, I got my work schedule for this week and saw that I was only scheduled one day after school, and with all my finals actually being papers I would have done over the weekend, I had so much free time ahead of me. I had a scary, exciting, incredible thought: I will finish my book next week.
And finish it I did!
I didn’t quite hit 80,000 words, but I’m so close that adding more would just be filler, and I don’t want that.
But I finished the first draft!!
So what’s next?
I’m going to take a month-long break from this novel and let it rest in my computer files for a while. I’m going to enjoy my Christmas break and read a bunch, catch up on all the movies I missed out on this semester, and go on a road trip with my friends.
Then, once the spring semester starts back up, I’m going to do a complete read through and start editing the novel!
I have a lot of editing to do in the coming year, but I’m so excited about this story. I adore the characters so much and I’d fight anyone who hurt them. I love the words I’ve formed together to spread awareness of eating disorders, and this story is so personal to me. I can’t wait to share it with the world, even if that is a year or two away.
For now, I’ll just enjoy the high I’m feeling because I WROTE A BOOK!