My name is Rebecca, and I am addicted to writing

It’s time to face up to the fact that what started out as a hobby has developed into a full blown obsession. Over the last 5-6 years, my periods of not writing have been far longer and more frequent than my productive times. I’ve taken six months off, or more, with barely a thought. But something has changed this year – when I’m not working on something, I find myself thinking incessantly about it, and my only cure is to give into it.

Last Saturday I finished the first draft of my third manuscript. I celebrated by giving myself a day off on the Sunday before going back to work the following day. But it didn’t feel like much of a reward. All day I was itching to get started on the third draft of my second manuscript. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Finally, on Monday after work, I got out my notebook and the printed copy and I started reading through it again. As always happens when starting on a subsequent draft, I was both horrified and pleasantly surprised by what I found in there.

It needs a lot of work. Some of my plot lines are still not entirely believable. I still use too many adverbs (there are five in this post alone, and that’s me restraining myself). I’ve discovered another annoying habit in my writing that I need to eradicate. My protagonist needs to be less bitchy and more gutsy and resourceful. I need to be more effective in showing surroundings.The chemistry between my characters that’s crystal clear in my head isn’t coming across on the page.

At the same time, a lot of the changes I made in the second draft that I’d almost forgotten about were a huge improvement. The writing is a lot more taut than it was the first time around. And having written the second in the series, I’ve got a better insight into my characters that will help me to flesh them out in this one.

This was the first time that I’ve written notes before starting on a new draft. I was dubious about the process, as I’m a horrendous note-taker, but it’s been enormously helpful. I haven’t marked up the manuscript at all, which has allowed me to look at the story as a whole rather than line by line.

At around 1pm today I finished my read through, and I’ve filled 39 hand-written A4 pages with things I need to fix or change. I feel good about it – some bits are going to be tricky, but generally it’ll just be a matter of tightening up the prose and getting rid of some of the repetition. Satisfied with my progress in less than a week, I instructed myself to spend the rest of the day relaxing and start on the real work tomorrow. I got out my book and plonked myself on the couch for an afternoon of shameless sloth.

I lasted about four and a half hours.

I couldn’t help myself. I’ve just opened the document and re-saved it as Draft 3.doc.

My name is Rebecca, and I am addicted to writing.

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About Rebecca Freeborn

Writer, reader, feminist, horse rider, shameless word nerd, wine lover. Swears frequently. Debut novel Hot Pursuit out with Pantera Press in May 2018. View all posts by Rebecca Freeborn

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