Six Draft, Seven Draft, Eight Draft, Nine…

It occurred to me less than five minutes ago that I may have missed my calling.  Did the rock / r&b drummer thing (loved it, miss it!), me and Excel are tighter than pantyhose two sizes too small but accounting is a bit, well, soulless.  I love, love, LOVE writing!

Expected a “but”, didn’t you?  No buts on that one, I love to write!  Still determining the difference between writer and storyteller because I don’t like to use a lot of words.  I often feel inadequate because my style is so raw and lean compared to the average author.  On the other hand, my readers (the ones I’ve discussed this with) think that it sets me apart.  I liken my style to The Atkins Diet: all protein, no carbs.  But I digress to…


I very well may become a great writer someday but I’ve been a great editor since high school. It’s one of the few areas in my life where I have absolute confidence in my abilities. Playing music, being a great father & mentor… I’m a caring and supportive friend who, given time, can put a pretty good story to paper.

To me, editing is akin to solving a huge jigsaw puzzle and dealing with this story for the past THREE YEARS (in July) has been a big ole puzzle.

“Three years”, you ask. “What gives, is your blood type molasses?” I can explain it all in one word: editing.

Most writers, no… smart writers write the rough, and they allow for it but stay focused on plowing ahead.  Me?  I needed the instant gratification of reading what I had recently written so I began a snail-like pattern of writing for a few hours and then editing it the following night before I would continue.  Throw two or three nervous breakdowns, family & work drama, abject poverty and my best phoenix imitation over the past few months and voilà, you’re left with the Sean Thompson slow train method to writing a novel.

That being said, I neglected to mention that the seventh draft is finished.  In other words, I finally got the entire story from the outline to paper.


Ninety-three thousand words plus, close to 575 pages (sorry, didn’t feel like writing THAT number out!), and at least ten chapters I can’t remember at all!  Gonna fix a very few things here and there then put it away for a couple of weeks before I take my red pen to it one last time before sending it out to me readers.

Anticlimactic, wasn’t it?  And if this post is a hot mess grammatically, I don’t care.  It’s 12:10am here and I’m considering a morning workout at 530.

And I’m too tired to edit so feel free to point out all the mistakes I left in my sleepy wake since I… Zzz zzz zzz!



Editor’s (!) note:  I really fell asleep, posting this just before I leave for work! 🙂


7 responses to “Six Draft, Seven Draft, Eight Draft, Nine…

  1. Congratulations! So glad to hear you’ve gotten the draft finished. Looking forward to hearing an update from the field of battle… I mean editing. 😀

  2. Thanks, Julie… no battle, it’s as much fun for me as the writing itself.

    A friend wrote a really sweet children’s story that she wanted to enter into competition. It was very touching work but I saw past the original structure and grammatical errors. Took me about half-an-hour to tweak it out;

    She’s ready to shop for literary agents now. 🙂

    • I rather enjoy editing myself. I thought about doing it for a living for a while, but there were a number of good reasons for me not to, starting with actually writing being more important to me, continuing from there. I do still enjoy editing my own work, refining it and moulding it closer to the original vision. I look at it as a positive that I can do that, that I get that opportunity to improve it in ways that may help make it better.

      Very nice of you to help your friend out, though. I hope the hunt for a literary agent goes well for her 🙂

  3. OH, i would never give up my own writing! Spent too many years running from myself to let go of one of my two favorite creative outlets at this point 🙂

    Makes me wonder, though… are there really writers who can’t edit?

    • There are, especially their own MS’s. I’ve met them. They’re the ones who think their first draft is gold other than spelling and grammar, I swear. :p

      As for the editing thing, if you can believe it, that was a fear thing for me. I was afraid of taking the risk of rejection and failure that’s implicit in writing. The instant I realized that I was looking at a career in editing as a way of being involved in writing without taking that risk, that was it, I gave it up and hauled my ass back to writing. I don’t tend to let myself get away with bs like that.

  4. WOWWWWWWWWWW! I like the ideas in my first draft but they ALWAYS get better in later drafts. This thing isn’t going out the door until it’s ready and even the title of this post says it all. Writing is about evolution.

    Risk of rejection, fear of the unknown… I get it. Can’t live that way, very much alike in that regard. No punks allowed! 🙂

    • Agreed. You have to be willing to go with that evolution though, and I find that not everyone is. And yeah, I always say, no one is harder on me or less accepting of excuses than I am. But it pushes me forward, so I can deal with it. No punks indeed.

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