Remember that orgasmic rush of writing that left you cast up on alien shores, stripped of everything except words? – told here 

The sun has now risen on a new day. Bleary eyed, you raise your head from your desk. An imprint of a half-gnawed cookie is embedded in your cheek. Light streams in through the open curtains, blinding you.

Now you have to ask yourself, “Do ya respect what you’ve written? Well? Do ya, punk?” (Apologies to Mrs Callahan’s lad, Harry  for my atrocious accent)

Now, heh, heh, it gets hard!

What you’ve done is create your first draft. What I like to call the CHAOS draft. You’ve created chaos, not only on the page but you are surrounded by chaos. The means by which you fueled your writing binge is crying out for attention, and I’m not talking about just the animate beings. Inanimate objects that you lavished care and attention on have now rusted and decayed, and … it’s high time you had a shower.

Your opus, your tome, your crowning achievement as a writer, lays quiescent in the corner of your field of vision.

You sleep for twenty-four hours straight, feed the afore mentioned animate objects and yourself, the inanimate ones can wait ‘til the weekend You turn on your computer, open that document and, holding your breath, begin to read.

Like I said, chaos.

Sentence structure – atrocious. Spelling – inconsistent at best. Plot – Ingenious. Characters – one (and a half) dimensional and they all look like your ex. Number of places you wrote, in italics, ‘Explain what you mean later’ – Quadruple digits.

You try turning your head sideways. Bizarrely enough, it helps.

It’s magnificent, it’s hideous, it’s glorious, it’s … just the beginning.

You have now arrived at the second draft – aka, AGONY.

The agony of re-reading the entire manuscript with a red pen (or font if you haven’t printed it out). The agony of reaching the end and realizing you’ve used up five red pens. (do you have any idea how many red lines you have to draw to get through one red pen?) The agony of deleting 10,000 words because they have absolutely no relevance to this particular story. The agony of remembering all the skills you have acquired to move forward from this very place. And the agony of knowing how much work you have ahead of you … just to reach the next draft.

And the agony of its name: BOREDOM


“The agony of my feelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred from which my rage and misery could not extract its food”Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley 

Although well known for her relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and of course, ‘Frankenstein ; or, The Modern Prometheus’, Mary also wrote quite a few other works, one of which is an apocalyptic SF story, and worth reading. ‘The Last Man’.    If you’re interested, you can download it at Project Gutenberg,  here.

6 comments on “Aftermath

  1. Celebrate each milestone as you get there. It’s so easy to be so focused on the next step that you don’t take enough time to stop and marvel at your own amazingness.

    Like the big bang, creating something from nothing takes enormous energy. It is a priviledge to be the conduit from creative energy to concrete reality.

    Good on you!


    • Widdershins says:

      Marveling at one’s own amazingness (great word!) should be done daily, I agree … preferably with a cup of tea, or beverage of choice, and a beatific smile on one’s face!


  2. s.p.bowers says:

    Loved it. And I love the name Chaos draft. Why isn’t it called that more often?


  3. jannatwrites says:

    My first draft was the ‘thank-goodness-I-didn’t-quit-my-day-job’ draft. Chaos draft sound much more complimentary.


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