Writing Update – Finished First Draft?!

Today I typed those two immortal words: The End. Wow. How scary is that? Of course it’s only the first draft and I still have a long editing process ahead of me, not to mention trying to figure out what the F to do with it then.But since this is literally the first piece of writing I have ever properly finished then it’s still a quite a major milestone.

The-end

A little bit of back story here on me and my writing journey so far. Like a lot of people I have been a major bookworm for as long as I can remember. Largely encouraged by my dad, I always had, and still always have, a book on the go. We were by no means spoiled kids and weren’t really allowed toys and many new things except for birthdays and Christmas’s (where we usually had A LOT of presents) but one thing we were always allowed was books. I can also always remember having a big imagination. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t have whole worlds and characters living in my head. I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s as a kid with my older brother and two closest cousins and I’d always be the one making up stories for them before bed. And all the adults around me would often comment that I was bound to become an author when I grew up.

When I reached my early teens I started to write “properly”, helped along a lot when I got my very first laptop, though I do remember spending long hours and days hand writing on lined paper then typing it up on the family computer. I had a few different “books” and scripts and story ideas that I worked on over the years but the main one was an ambitious century-spanning vampire tale (this was around the time of Twilight so of course vampires where THE THING at the time, although I’d always been a fan. One of my first stories that I would tell my sibling and cousins was The Peanut Butter Vampire, but that, my friends, is quite literally another story.) I had some crazy, pages long outline for an eight book saga with about a million characters and time jumps and lord knows what. For some bizarre reason I was attempting to write all eight books at the same time, jumping between them as and when the mood struck.  So after years of this monumental endeavour I had mountains upon mountains of bits of writing from various disparate bits of the story but nothing anywhere close to completion. I don’t remember exactly at what point I gave up on it. Possibly when I finished school and started college and began to see the whole thing as childish and unachievable. I pretty much dismissed all those years of work as crap and abandoned it. Having re-read some of it years later I think this assessment was overly self-critical and a bit unfair. While it is undoubtedly juvenile and down right cringey in places I do feel like there was definite potential in there, some of it was almost good, in fact. But I didn’t see it that way at the time. I just got bogged down in the over-ambitiousness of it all. My juggernaut of a story had grown too big and smothered me under it’s weight.

Over my college years I noodled about with other bits of writing, starting various different books, stories and scripts and finishing nothing except a mediocre horror short that I wrote for my film studies course work. At this point writing got pretty much side-lined by the second love of my life: film. I had decided that instead of an author I would now be a film maker. So I stopped writing all together and got my first job as an intern at a film production company and a short film festival. I won’t go into all the in’s and out’s of that as that would be a total tangent but the point is years went by (I think roughly 3 or 4 years if you’re a stickler for detail) where I didn’t write at all. This lasted right up until I moved out of my mum’s house and into my first home with my boyfriend. I can’t remember exactly where or when the idea for “The Cauldron Born” began but at some point without my really being aware of it, the stories had returned to my head. All I can recall is that somewhere down the line this bad ass red-haired young witch started hanging out in my imagination. And she was funny and wild and flawed and I started to wonder, what does this girl get up to? What happens to her, how does she change, how does she grow? And so it began.

Now, fast forward almost a year and a half later and we’re back to those two immortal words: THE END. But it’s not the end, really. It’s only the beginning. It’s the begining of a whole new adventure and it’s exciting and terrifying in nearly equal measure. But whatever happens next, one thing is now true that wasn’t true yesterday: I wrote a book. A whole entire book of over three-hundred pages. And of that I am immensely proud.

The End.