New Author Tip: Warning – Do Not Publish that First Draft

You’ve finished your book. This is admirable (because so many people never finish) and worthy of celebration. Congratulations!

But, while this is an accomplishment worth celebrating, you are not done. Do not pass go and do not collect $200.

A rule of thumb is that you do not publish a book you just finished writing. After you’ve finished writing your book, your manuscript is now considered the First Draft. It’s called the First Draft because it is the first copy of the book ever in existence where no changes have been made. It is a rough draft of the story straight from your mind to the page. According to Innovative Editing:

“In any piece of writing, whether a novel manuscript or a blog post, the first draft is also known as a rough draft. From start to finish, it’s technically a complete piece. It has a beginning that moves to a middle that concludes with an ending. But it’s a messy complete piece. There are still thoughts to ground, sentences to be revised for maximum reader engagement, and spelling errors to fix. Which is why a rough draft should never, ever, ever be your final draft.”

Once you’ve finished the actual writing part, it’s a good idea to let the manuscript sit for awhile. Take a few weeks off from the writing and go do something else. In a few weeks time, return to it with fresh eyes to begin your self-edits. A strange but helpful thing for me when self-editing on the computer is to turn my document into a PDF. For some reason, I catch mistakes easier this way. It’s the electronic way of printing the book out (which at some point you’ll want to do with your highlighter and pen ready.)

It may also help to take out a notebook and go chapter by chapter (maybe this week is Chapter One and maybe next week is Chapter Two.) This is what I did when self-editing Renaissance. I looked at each Chapter one at a time and wrote about it in my notebooks (things that didn’t make sense, add up, were inconsistent, contradictory etc. I am preparing to do the same with Book Two, which I’ve let sit a long while so it’s time to get back to it.)

The idea is to take the manuscript through enough revisions so that it starts to make sense and then you can send it in to be big edited but please, do not publish that first draft. It will need to be revised first. It is a rough draft.


I AM SOUL, my short collection of poetry, is now available.

CLICK HERE

No Whining Wednesday – Understand and Appreciate Your Riches

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize. Click Here if you’re new to this segment for more on what this is about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches..”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Are you rich? Here’s a list to help you to find out. You’re rich if you:

  • Woke up this morning
  • Have a roof over your head
  • You ate today
  • You have someone who loves you
  • You love someone back
  • You have clean water
  • You have food in the refrigerator
  • You have someone who could give you food
  • You have a good heart
  • You wish good for others
  • Someone prayed for you today
  • You prayed for someone today
  • Someone cares for you
  • You have clean clothes
  • You have a washing matching to wash your clothes
  • You know how to wash your clothes on hand
  • You have a dream
  • You know how to read and write
  • You’re breathing right now

Understand and then appreciate your riches. Do that and you will never be disappointed. For the grateful, there is no poverty.

No Whining Wednesday – Endurance

The No Whining Wednesday Badge
The No Whining Wednesday Badge

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week that you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize.

If you’re new to this, please visit Week One HERE. (I have also added the badge to the sidebar).

Each week I will post an inspiring quote to help you to get through the day. And not just you of course but me too. In fact, this quote is inspired by my experience last week. By talking with you guys about it I learned that it wasn’t such a bad day, just that I needed to endure for a little while before things went smooth. Isn’t that what struggle is all about? Today is all about persevering, resolve, and endurance. Try not to take the situations you face today so personally. Instead, think about how you can get through the situation and what you may learn from the experience.

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This quote is so speaking to my life right now! I hope it gives you just as much courage to face today as it’s doing me. It’s the middle of the work week but don’t let life make you a slave to the weekend. Even though it’s around the corner, you can enjoy TODAY just the same. To your success.

No Whining Wednesdays

Welcome to Day One of No Whining Wednesdays! A new segment of The PBS Blog.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge
The No Whining Wednesday Badge

What is NWW?

No Whining Wednesdays is something coined by Iyanla Vanzant that I decided to adopt into this blog. It means that for the entire day today you CANNOT do the following:

– Whine
– Complain
– Criticize

Here are some definitions:

To Whine – give or make a long, high-pitched complaining cry or sound; to grumble, murmur or complain in a feeble way.

To Complain – express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event; state that one is suffering from; state of grievance.

To Criticize – indicate the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way; to condemn, attack, discourage.

OK, now that we all know what whining, complaining, and criticizing is, there is only one rule: DON’T DO ANY OF THIS TODAY.

Punishment:

If you whine, complain, or criticize at all today you must put a quarter in a jar. If you have no quarter you can put a dime, nickel, or penny.  Of course, this is optional. The idea is to hold yourself accountable and to maintain self-control. If that means investing a few quarters then do that. If it means something else, do that Maybe you can deny yourself that favorite snack or fast food. Just make it fun.

Every week I will post an inspirational quote to help us to get you started. I’m going to go out and purchase me a notebook and record my experiences and thoughts there. You can too or you can record your experience on your own blogs, it’s up to you. This activity is personal so it will be up to you, to be honest about how well you did. You can share it with us or not. It’s a completely personal exercise.

Rewards

Less stress and a happier, and overall greater appreciation for all things and all people in your life. Together, we will strive to be more grateful by eliminating complaints and discouragement from our lives, one Wednesday at a time. (Not to mention you can save some money).

Inspiring Quote of the Day

“Remember, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your energy. Give up blaming, complaining and excuse making, and keep taking action in the direction of your goals – however mundane or lofty they may be.”
– Jack Canfield

Wait! What if I start whining!?

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First, go find some quarters. But if you’re struggling, no worries. You can take a moment to:

  • Pray
  • Sing
  • Listen to Music
  • Read
  • Write
  • Think about / Count your blessings
  • Call a Friend
  • Clean the house
  • Anything productive

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Today is yours. Go out and conquer it and remember, no complaining!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Zora

Welcome back everyone, to another Writer’s Quote Wednesday segment, as hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading. Today,  I draw inspiration from Zora Neale Hurston, a name I’ve been hearing a lot this week:

 

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I’ve been reading this quote all week. Not because I’m a Hurston fan to that extent, but I have been studying her history pretty close (for a project I am not telling you about yet, don’t you just love secrets? lol hee hee )and this quote in particular keeps sticking out to me. There is so much here that I cannot begin to verbalize it all. In short, I’m at a place in my life where focus is priority. I feel really free right now with who I am. I would not say that I am content because to be content is to lose focus. Focus is loss when we think that we are where we are supposed to be and we stop striving. That said, I am not there yet; I would not say that I have reached my limit, I have a long way to go. But I do feel my faith is growing. Could be something in the air, a sense of urgency, or an alarm clock on my skin. In the meantime, I’ll just pull in the horizon like a fish net, and drape it around my shoulders.

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – David McCullough

Welcome back to another Segment of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading. This week, I draw inspiration from David McCullough. I wish I could like this in a post over and over again!

 

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So true! Which is why I research as I’m writing :).

About The Author:

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“David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.”
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That’s it for my segment of Writer’s Quote Wednesday. I think the quote pretty much speaks for itself.
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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – The Short Story

My Writer’s Quote Wednesday for this week is in honor of the Short Story. Wendell Harris says:

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“…the short story is a ….presentation of a moment whose intensity makes it seem outside the ordinary stream of time, or the significance is outside the ordinary range of experience.” —Wendell Harris

I really like how Harris spoke about, “the presentation of a moment” because it is what I think about when I think of short stories. It’s like a sampling of the authors writing, pulling as much life from the story as is possible and then storing it into as few pages as possible, which is my goal for my current short story trilogy. To fit as much information as possible in just a few pages, while simultaneously providing for that bit of mystery that I think is important for the short story. I think Stella relates to this quote because it is the presentation of a single moment in history. It tackles the ongoing racial intensity of the past and brings it into our present day so that we are experiencing, in a unique way, the co-existing of past, present, and future.

I wanted to include an Author Bio from the quote but I read this as part of a list of short story quotes and saved them to my drive awhile back so I’m not sure who this particular Wendell Harris is, but what a great quote!

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And that’s it for this week’s episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, as hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading.

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