Trudge (Never Giving Up)

The night that I’m writing this post, I finished the second draft of Stars and Bones 5.

Just writing that sentence gave me chills.

Let me explain:

Book 5 has been the biggest hurtle for me as a writer. I struggled with writer’s block, self-doubt, and to top it off, this COVID-19 thing has my anxiety on a near constant high.

Let me explain a little deeper:

During a revision of Stars and Bones book 4, I realized the plot wasn’t working. So, I chopped the book in half. I wrote the second half of book 4 from scratch and shoved the previous second half into what would become book 5.

And book 5 was a hot mess. 

I have revised it eight times. Now, as you can guess from the first line of this post, I’ve started over a few times. I scraped one draft, cut about twenty thousand words, and spliced together a new first draft. It was a hot mess and a half, and I knew – I just knew – it would never be a good story. I would never be able to pull it together. I cried myself to sleep that night because I was so deep in the fog of self-doubt and bottomed out self-esteem.

I took a nap. Ate some protein. Played some Skyrim.

And I revised. I made notes. I revised it again.

And, as you can tell from the first line, I trudged through. I made it to the other side.

Book 5 is less of a mess than it was. I fixed the weird plotholes. I fixed the parts of the story that didn’t make sense or didn’t add. I added depth to minor characters that previous had no motivation.

I fixed the big obvious problems, then I moved onto the medium problems, and now I have a list of medium and small problems to fix in the next revision.

The moral of this story is that you might think you can never do something, but you can. You can do it. It likely won’t be easy or fun all the time, but you can do it.

Sometimes it feels like your head is spinning, but you’ll be okay.

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