25 YEARS

No, it’s not my wedding anniversary. The Spousal Unit and I celebrated thirty years of wedded bliss this past summer, which was lovely. But then, you might extend a bit of pity to the man. He didn’t marry a writer, but he’s married to one, now!

Twenty-five years ago, on December 1, 1997, I began the first draft of a book I called Amberley’s Heir. I was a manic writer in my first year and finished that book at nearly a 100,000 words, in two months. No, I didn’t publish it. It was my first ever attempt at writing anything other than stories for school or speeches. No, I sent it to an agent and then got an analysis of pros and cons in the first few chapters, etc.

It was a great, if difficult, learning experience!

Daunted, I turned to writing other things, which was just as well. Several years later, I took this novel back out of its box and started over. Same characters. Same idea. Different approach. I was not yet happy with it.

However, in 2022, I decided to give it one more shot. Same hero and heroine, same little boy. Same valet . . . and that was it. The story is much different than it was, and I am much happier with it, now.

In the image here, the upper left is the copied-and-bound manuscript I sent to someone to pre-read for me in 1998. The upper right is the boxed manuscript I tried several years later. In the front is the three-hole-punched current THIRD first draft of his book which is now titled In the Name of Duty.

I finished this draft during NaNoWriMo. I didn’t participate officially, remember, but I did work hard for my 29,000 words and got to “The End” before midnight.

It’s odd, perhaps, to celebrate an anniversary of beginning a first draft for a novel that you didn’t even like finishing for twenty-five years, but hey. Writing is a highly individual endeavor.

If you are uncertain of a draft of something you have written, share it with someone. Find a writers’ group. Give yourself some time and distance from your story and approach it later with fresh eyes. Just don’t give up!

Published by Sandi

Wife, mom, writer, Christian. Mondays are my favorite days, coffee is my favorite beverage, and reading is my favorite thing to do. #AutismMom

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