Writing a Book: First Draft

A series of blog posts following the journey of writing a book. From the first draft to publication.

Over the past few months, I’ve briefly alluded to the fact that I was writing a book. That’s not out of the ordinary for me. I write multiple books a year, for other people. This one is different. This one is for me. I love writing, and would happily spend all day, every day, doing it. Which, essentially, is what I do. However, after spending all day writing for other people, often the last thing I want to do is to write something for myself. Finding the time to write my own book, around writing and editing books for clients, is something that felt impossible at times. Nevertheless, I sit here, right now, having just finished the first draft of MY OWN BOOK!

I thought it might be kind of fun to document the journey from this point onwards.

When I ghostwrite a book, I edit it and get it back to the clients, and from that point, what they do with it is entirely on them. The after aspect of writing a book is something I rarely have to deal with. Now, I’m sitting here, staring at my first draft and thinking, ‘Shit, what the hell do I do now?’

While I know what, technically, I should do. It feels odd.

There are so many things to think about. Writing the manuscript, especially the first draft, is only the beginning of the journey. I thought I’d feel like drinking a full bottle of prosecco and celebrating. Instead, I’m trawling through my diary trying to find the space to line edit my own work. Then copy edit my own work. Then start querying literary agents. Or, maybe, I want to self-publish, and that’s a whole other thing too. There are so many options, and so many emotions, that I’m not sure what the right course of action is for me. I’m looking forward to the journey, and to figuring things out as I go, but if there are any writers/authors out there who want to offer any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am hopeful that writing my own book, and publishing it in some format, will help me to understand my clients’ journeys better. To be able to empathise and offer more specialised advice. I will have lived through what I am supporting them with, which will be invaluable, surely.

In the interest of documenting the journey, here are the stats:

1. My word count stands at around 60k words.

2. My book is a horror thriller, with the working title: Found You.

3. It is full of typos and issues at the moment because I just wanted to get the base story down on paper.

4. There is more writing to go – I have more scenes to add in, and plenty to edit and change around – but the bones are there.

5. I fully expect editing it to last a few months.

6. I’m bricking it at the prospect of querying agents! Somebody, please send help.

Writing my own book has been entirely different to what I envisioned.

Writing for clients, I always find, is very straightforward. I sit down each day and write off a plan the client either wrote or approved of. I finish the manuscript. I edit. Job done. My own book was written in dribs and drabs around work, which made it difficult. I wrote a plan at the start, which was pretty much chapter by chapter, and this has been worth its weight in gold.

By sharing my journey with anybody willing to read it, I hope that you will learn from me and my mistakes (I’m sure there will be plenty).

I come at this having completed my first manuscript, despite having written upwards of thirty others for clients. I know that my writing history is likely very different to a lot of people. But, nevertheless, I hope you enjoy following the journey from first draft, to hopefully publishing the book. I will go back and do a blog post about how I planned out my manuscript, and how I fit in the writing around work, because that might help some people too.

If you have any advice, or comments, please do reach out! It’s quite nerve-wracking to share this on the internet, but I think it will be worth it.

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