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  • Writer's pictureTalbot Finch

10. The Calm After The Storm: Finishing the first draft.

Everyone’s writing process is, of course, different, so this may not be applicable to all reading it. Disclaimer aside, I want to talk about the period of time after completing the first draft of a manuscript.

If you haven’t already guessed, I have completed the first draft of my queer, historical romance novel. I am elated to be finished. It was something that, for the longest time, I couldn’t imagine myself actually doing. It can be an incredibly daunting task to begin a long-form narrative without a strong idea of what you’re doing. I learned along the way, and for that reason, the entire project took about 14 months to complete. (I have a feeling the next first draft I write will be much quicker.)

While I am thrilled to have accomplished something I’ve been dreaming of for over a year, I now face a new challenge: Revisions. I am both excited and nervous to begin this part of the journey. Excited because I am all the closer to publishing my first novel. Nervous because it’s harder to tell when exactly revising is done. I could spend another 14 months of the revision process and still not know if it is ready for sharing with the world. (Note: I’ve already decided that I will not be spending another 14 months on this, but you get my point.)

What’s more, I already feel the absence of creation. I miss the hours of daily writing I was doing over the past couple months. The Flow State is intoxicating.

I know that I can start working on something new, and I’ve begun the brainstorming process for a new story, but I know I am starting from scratch again. The writing momentum from my previous project has been lost and will need to be rebuilt again over time. But even though it will take effort—now that I’ve tasted the sweet nectar of Flow—I can be confident in the inevitable rewards of perseverance.

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