Drafting and Grafting

Writing done, but not complete

The draft is "done!" It feels good to say that. I finished late (early) one night, the final exhale of a marathon a year in the writing and a career in the making.

My shitty first draft is now a sprawling chronicle of things said and not said. I've challenged much of what I thought I knew on this subject. I've confronted platitudes and pedestals. I've found deficiencies sitting right out in the open that more people should care about. I look forward to sharing more about these things.

Speaking of, I have more to say, and not enough manuscript yet to say it. This is a healthy but stressful moment for me. I must cut to get under word count. I knew that on the home-stretch, but now it stares back at me, a number that must go down. Each word a weight. Each phrase a promise. Each paragraph a problem. My editors gave me simple heading exercise that revealed a bloated chapter 4 that is double the size of any other chapter.

So I must rebalance, rethinking an outline that I wrote a year ago. The organic growth that came out of it is probably natural. The editing process is likewise natural. I'll commit to killing my darlings, and grafting what remains for the good of the manuscript. Let's hope I can scalpel with patience. My tendency is more toward the chainsaw.