There are few things in life better than the pleasure of finishing a first draft. In fact, today I can't really think of something better. This is, of course, because I finished the first draft of my third book--the sequel to Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake--last night.
Just to put it into perspective, here are nine things that finishing your first draft is better than:
1. Finding a $20 bill in your coat when you weren't expecting it.
2. A kick in the pants.
3. A great new haircut.
4. Friday afternoons.
5. Clamcakes and chowder at the beach (and I'm a New Englander. So that's no joke.).
6. Christmas morning.
7. An Ocean's 11, 12 and 13 marathon...in the theater.
and, by a nose:
9. The tasting menu at Craft. (Tom Colicchio not included. Obviously, I would have to reclassify if he were.)
For me this is particularly true because, honestly? I still get incredibly doubtful about whether or not my books will actually get finished when I'm writing. Seriously. I'll be 300 pages in and think...is this even a thing? But then I come out on the other side...and OMG. It's a thing. And I actually like it. And I get giddy. And I do a little dance and have a glass of wine and watch West Wing for three hours.
And, of course, I know I am not even close to being done with this book. Because now comes the part where I hand it over to my ridiculously-brilliant-editor-who-happens-to-see-things-in-my-manuscripts-that-I-would-never-have-seen-had-i-had-an-ice-age-to-find-them and I will say, "These are all the words I know. And this is the order in which I know to use them." And she will say, "Push yourself. I will help."
And I will. And she will. And revisions will happen (another blog post for another day).
And the book you read in the fall will be infinitely better than the book I have today.
And that, too, will feel great.
But it still won't feel as good as finishing the first draft.