A Day in the Life of a First Draft

As you know, writing requires extreme dedication to the craft, unswerving discipline, and nigh-supernatural resistance to distraction. To shed some light on this magical process, I present a semi-fictionalized account of a single day in in the creation of a first draft.

8:00 a.m.

Okay, at my desk bright an early, got my coffee, and I am ready to start writing!

I should check my email, though. Might be super important stuff in there. Ooh, maybe even an acceptance for one of my short story submissions.

8:30 a.m.

Wow, twenty-seven pieces of junk mail and two rejections. That, uh, sucks.

Okay, shake it off. Gotta get those 2,500 words. If I start now, I’ll finish by like noon, and then I can work on short stories or that novella I was outlining.

Before I start, though, I gotta check social media and see if anything important needs my attention. Should only take a couple of minutes . . .

8:45 a.m.

Okay, posts and tweets liked. News assimilated. NOW it is time to write.

Let me just open the Word document for the novel . . .

You know, I could finish a blog post for Friday, just to get ahead. I mean, I still got plenty of time to knock out that word count.

9:30 a.m.

Right, blog post in the can. Look at me all working ahead and shit. Damn, I’m responsible.

Now let’s write some words!

Hey, someone just commented on my last blog post. I don’t want to be rude. I should check that out and respond.

9:45 a.m.

There we go, a nice response to that question on my blog.

Huh? I wonder how many followers I have now. I should look into that. Oh and then do a spreadsheet breaking down followers and views per month, then by day, and . . .

11:00 a.m.

Well that took longer than I thought, but look at all the super important information I have now. I’ll just save that on my hard drive and never look at it again.

Okay, here we go, words flowing from brain to fingertips. Magic is gonna happen!

12:00 p.m.

Really? I’ve only written 500 words? Fuck. Let me read this . . .

Why on Earth did it take 500 words for the main character to clear his throat and eat a sandwich? Oh, cool, it’s noon. I should eat lunch.

12:30 p.m.

Got food, ready to write again.

Gettin’ into this action scene. Wow, the words are flowing. This is great . . .

Wait. Is it actually possible to rip a person’s arm clean off their body? I’ve seen that in movies an stuff, but I better make sure. Let’s see what the interwebs has to say about it.

1:30 p.m.

Good lord, that injury is way too common! That’s horrible.

Okay, so that many pounds of force, and applied with that leverage, and some stuff . . . Okay, yeah, plausible. Back to the action.

2:00 p.m.

Man, I’ve been making awesome progress. Let me just see how many words I’ve written.

Aw, only 1,100. I need another 1,400 for the day, and I still gotta go the gym and do the dishes.

Ooh, six notifications on Twitter! I probably should check my social media again . . .

3:00 p.m.

Damn it! Why did I watch four fucking YouTube videos on people removing rust from old butcher knives? Get back to work!

Okay, this scene is going pretty good. Got some snappy dialog, the main character is lookin’ cool, and . . .

How can I NOT know how a tow truck works? I mean, seriously. I’ve been towed like a dozen times. Sigh. To the internet.

3:30 p.m.

Why are there so many different types of tow trucks?

Okay, so he hooks up that thing to that thing, and the car goes up, and the scene is done.

I should check my word count again. Gotta be getting’ close now.

Damn, 1,600 words. Maybe I should check Facebook . . .

No! Write!

4:30 p.m.

Well, that is giant plot hole right there.

Must. Not. Panic.

I can fix it if I change this, and that, and this thing. Damn, I better write all this out or I’ll forget.

Okay, hey, that’s not too bad. Crisis averted. Word count total at 2,100.

Home stretch.

5:00 p.m.

Boom! 2,737 words. Finished the chapter and wrote over my goal. Hell yeah.

No, dumb-ass, don’t go back and read what you wrote today. It’ll all read like shit. Wait until tomorrow. You KNOW this!

Document saved, closed, and backed up twice. Now I need a distraction . . .

Oh, cool, look at this guy cleaning rust off a one-hundred-year-old cleaver he found in his backyard.


Of course this is not exactly what my writing day looks like. I also watch a lot of MMA videos. πŸ™‚

8 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a First Draft

      • I have a black belt in the 11:47pm submission-before-the-deadline. My problem is I don’t have a full day to waste and then rally at the last minute; I wrote long-hand on the train home on Tuesday, but by the time I got home, made dinner and ate, I was so tired I couldn’t finish what I’d started. …Which is somehow worse when what I was working on is a flash piece. (Fail.)

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