A couple of weeks ago I read a tweet (yes, I just used the word "tweet" in a sentence and still have the audacity to call myself a man) from the writer of the blog, Stuff Christians Like, which is a great site for people like me who grew up in church culture to laugh at all the things we do without thinking about them.
Anyway, the tweet went like this:
Yesterday I finished up the first draft of a book I've been actively working on for at least a year, and which has been in the idea stage of my mind for at least two years, and probably longer. I can't really describe how good it felt to send that file off to the copier in my office, the sweet satisfaction of hearing page after page come rolling out of that machine. I brought it into my office, placed the stack of pages onto my desk, and took a deep breath, amazed that somehow I could have spilled that much ink to share a few ideas. I wanted to celebrate, so in perfect 21st century fashion, I took a picture of it and posted it to my Facebook wall.
I hole-punched the whole manuscript and put it into a binder so I could have it with me to read through and make notes and edits on the text. I usually dread editing, but considering how long it's taken me to get to this stage, I'm actually very excited to be out of the draft writing stage and into at least the first stage of self-editing.
I took the binder to bed with me last night, and as Rita was drifting off to sleep I told her that I had finished the first draft, and then said offhandedly that I thought it would probably suck. Predictably she told me she was sure it wouldn't. And to my great surprise, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. It needs a lot of editing to be sure, a lot of tightening up of words and phrases and some work to make sure that the ideas are clear throughout, but it is most certainly not terrible. I didn't hate it, but I was prepared to. And maybe that was the victory for last night. I don't hate what I wrote. But I don't love it either. It definitely needs more help to get to the love stage. So I've got work ahead, but for now, I'm celebrating a big step forward towards something I've had on my "to do" list for quite a while.