I have learned so much from my time in the Next Draft Intensive Course with Caroline Donahue. Not only did I learn about the revision process, but I learned so much about how I work around this creative process as well.
The biggest takeaway I had from this entire 10-week course was that I have time!
I went into this course believing that I would have a finished revised draft in 10 weeks. I’m leaving the course, knowing that it’s okay that I am still working through the process. My inner Critic would love to have a field day with the fact that I’m not finished with my revised draft. (“Other writers have finished and published their novels by now!” or “You’ve been working on this for HOW long?!”) However, I’m not going to let it. Why? Because I accomplished so so much during these past 10 weeks.
I’ve read through my manuscript three times. I’ve done an entire excel spreadsheet of each and every scene in my novel to evaluate if they work in the novel and why or why not. I’ve gotten 1/4 of the way through my scene cards for plotting. Behind those steps are all of the thoughts and brainstorms, the “what ifs” that come with the ideas, and the painful realizations that half the book just wasn’t working and what might replace it. That’s a lot!
I’m insanely proud of where I’m at with this book. I think it’s going to be even stronger in the next draft because of the processes that it’s been through. It might not be the next great bestseller, but it will be a book that is meaningful to me.
I’m still so excited for where it’s going. That makes me very happy. Here’s to still working on this revision, even if it’s very slowly.