First Drafts and Fears

ClimbEveryMountainPreviously on Betsy’s Blog…

Betsy is on a Quest to become an Indie Author/Publisher/Entrepreneur.  Harry, a white gerbil, is her Guide.  When last we met, Betsy and her Muse were hopped up on writing good times and heading towards finishing the first draft of the second half of the redraft of the book Betsy is writing.  While they got down to the creative business, Harry went off to find out what else Betsy is going to need to know if she wants to make this Quest a reality.

Now Betsy and Harry are meeting to discuss progress, but something appears to be amiss.  Betsy is not bouncing around with excitement and middle-aged glee.  In fact, she seems rather subdued.  What’s happened?  Does Betsy have to make yet another feeble excuse for not getting her work done?  Let’s see…


*Betsy enters office Harry has set up in her brain*  *Walks over to sofa*  *Drops down onto it with a sigh*

*Harry looks up from his gPad*  *Frowns*  *Hops to edge of gerbil habitat tower*  Betsy?

Yeah.  *Betsy stretches out to lay on sofa*  *Puts arm over her eyes*

What’s wrong?  *Harry puts down gPad*  *runs down tower tube*  *runs over to sofa and jumps onto arm near Betsy’s head*  *pokes at her with a little paw*  I thought you were going to have good news for me today.

I do.  *Betsy’s voice is muffled by her arm*

*Harry waits for a moment, but she says nothing else*  Come on.  You’re killing me here.  Did you finish the first draft?

I did.

Hey, that’s great! *Harry starts jumping around*  You finished the first draft!  That’s awesome.

Sure.  *Betsy lets her hand fall to her side*  *stares at ceiling of the brain*

*Harry stops jumping*  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sensing a lack of enthusiasm here.  Care to tell me why?

Well, I’m just really scared now.

Scared?  *Harry jumps onto Betsy’s chest so he can look her in the eye*  Why, for Pete’s sake?  This is a big accomplishment.

I know, I know, I know.  *Betsy sits up*  *Dislodges Harry*  It’s just that now it’s, well, real.  There’s so much left to do, but now I have to really step up and do it.

*Harry scratches his head with his back paw*  I don’t understand.  You always had to do it.

No.  *Betsy stands*  *Begins to pace*  When I was writing the first draft, I didn’t know the whole story.  It was easy to write and rewrite because the story didn’t completely exist yet.  But now I’ve forced myself to power through and the whole story is formed.  It’s not fully formed – it’s kind of like it’s covered in mud – but it’s there just waiting for me to firm it up and finish it.

Okay.  Still don’t see the problem.

*Betsy twirls around to glare at Harry*  And then once I firm it up and finish it, I’m going to have to put it out there, aren’t I?

*Harry shrugs*  Only if you want to actually be an author, babe.  Which you do.

And then it will be done and I won’t be working on it anymore and then people will read it and maybe review it, or OH!  maybe they WON’T review it and I won’t sell any books and what if I finish this book and it SUCKS or what if I CAN’T finish this book because I’m a total loser and I can’t succeed at anything and what if I read the first draft I wrote and it takes me another TWENTY years to finish the book and I– *Betsy sucks in breath*–die?  Huh?

Okay.  Wow.  *Harry holds out paws in a placating manner*  Hold on there little trouper.  Why don’t you come back and sit down.  *pats sofa cushion*

*Betsy sniffles*  Okay.  *walks back to sofa*  *sits* *sniffles*  Sorry.

Yeah, well, there’s a lot going on in that noggin of yours, isn’t there?

*sniffle*  Uh huh.

It sounds like you’re thinking of writing this book as some huge event.

*Betsy stares at Harry*  Because it is.

*Harry shrugs*  Not so much.  I mean, yeah, it’s a great accomplishment and all, but it’s not really an event.  It’s just your job now.  It’s just what you do.  This is the second book of many.  You’ve got a ton of others trapped in here.  *Harry climbs Betsy’s chest and taps a paw on her forehead*

*Betsy frowns* Why were you so excited then?*

*Harry rolls eyes*  I was excited because you are finally, FINALLY, taking a step onto your own path.

Oh.  *Betsy thinks*  Okay.

You’re gonna be fine, babe.  You WILL be able to finish it and it WILL be great.  And then another story will come right along if you let it and you’ll be all about the new story.  Treat this like the be-all and end-all and you’re going to spend the rest of your life rewriting it until it’s perfect and it never will be because that’s the way life goes.  You need to finish this one and you need to get it out there and you need to let people read it.  *Harry hops back onto sofa*

*Betsy digs out tissue*  *blows nose*  I want people to read it.

Of course you do.  *Harry pats Betsy’s arm*  You can’t worry about reviews or any of that stuff.  You can’t control what people are going to say, or not say.  You have to focus on the things you CAN control.  And that means, you need to finish your book and you need to ship it.  Then you need to do it all over again.  Each book is just one of many.  There will be another one coming along after this one is finished.

I should have that tattooed on my arm.  *Betsy gives Harry a watery smile* Thanks.  I feel better now.  *Betsy thinks*  And excited!

Great.  And you finished your first draft!  *Harry gives a fist pump*

I did!  *Betsy claps her hands*


*Betsy and Harry dance around her brain*


 To be continued…



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