I have always loved reading. From a young age, my parents instilled in me a true passion for the written word that grew with voracity as I entered elementary school and discovered the likes of Harry Potter, The Westing Game, Nancy Drew, The Chronicles of Narnia, and a number of other tomes that excited the creative side of my brain and opened my eyes to my life’s calling: to be an author.
In December 2005, I wrote a short story for a school assignment. A small thing, it garnered some positive responses. Inspired by a strange affection for the character at its heart, I was compelled to create a larger narrative around it. The assignment became the prologue for a new book. I say new, because previously I had made two unsuccessful attempts to write a full length novel. I feared that I would meet defeat here too, but by the end of summer 2006, I had completed a very rough first draft.
I edited it slightly over the next few months, and passed it on to my English teacher and another professional, both of whom gave me positive feedback, citing an enjoyable read. At sixteen, I was elated to know that my dream of writing might come true. I did not yet know the tribulations and trials that would follow.
Over the next few years, I tried to iron out a perfect version, telling myself that I would be published before the year was out. Each vow was broken, as I faced inner demons in the form of perfectionism, self-doubt, and general skepticism. Overtime, I lost that passion that had driven me to write a story as I lost some of my innocence, and gained a growing awareness that, though my book had a beginning, middle and end that were logically connected, there were elements that were lacking, scenes that were completely unnecessary and other issues that suddenly seemed too overwhelming to tackle.
For a long while I floundered, scared to devote myself to the major change I knew needed to be made, a change suggested to me by one of my first readers, a change I had forcefully refused to make. Life threw challenges at me, I struggled to know myself, to love myself, to have confidence in myself. I faced a greater darkness than ever before, and lost that part of myself that had always known that I wanted to be a storyteller, too afraid to put myself out there, to give myself a chance.
This past year, I emerged from the worst of it. Summer 2014 saw my sister and I write, direct and produce a short feature. It also saw me submit a script to a few competitions where I received great positive feedback that boosted my confidence and reaffirmed in a very tangible way that my future path is lined with paper and quills.
So Summer 2015, I finally relinquished my uncertainty, my fear, and accepted the inevitable change: to split my book in two.
And so that is where I am now, working through an amended first book. A large job, I know that it is one I must undertake to give my novel its best chance. And that’s why I’m here, to journal and share with you who are interested, the challenge of what I’ve termed The Divided Draft.
My intention is to post updates weekly, with more frequency depending on how intense the process is. But that’s not all you’ll find here.
Check out Manifesto to discover what else you’ll find here.
See you around,