The Writing Life in Pictures: First Draft Strain


There are days when working on the first draft of a novel feels
just.
like.
this.

 
 
 
“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.”

Jessamyn West

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9 thoughts on “The Writing Life in Pictures: First Draft Strain

    1. Laura Hile Post author

      If students only knew what boils beneath the calm exterior of the humdrum professional educator.

      Bared teeth. Wild eyes. Claws. Ambition.

      “Let me out! Let me out!”

      We let them think the dismissal bell means Student Joy. It doesn’t.

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  1. Gayle Mills

    Especially on Fridays and the days before holidays and the day before summer break and the day before in-service days and the day before….

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    1. Laura Hile Post author

      Today we had sunshine, and for this time of year in western Oregon that’s a glorious (and very rare) thing. So I had my sunroof jubilantly open as I drove about, and what do you think I saw? Beautiful fall foliage? Blue sky? Nope.

      Gray hairs, darlin’, a whole new crop of them. And then, with a sigh, I remembered that it’s October. Right on schedule. Every year I see the strain of the start of the school year on my head.

      At this point, I painstakingly pull the worst ones out … and hope that now that I have my “game face” on, I won’t get too many more!

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      1. Gayle Mills

        That’s why they make L’Oreal. If I started pulling out the gray hair, I’d have to buy a wig. Nope. 6 1/2 L’Oreal.

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  2. Robin Helm

    I’m writing my second book now, and I can certainly relate to your picture. I also teach elementary school music. I just love that first class after lunch – first graders coming straight from recess, wired to the max, bouncing off their seats, and congenitally unable to stop talking long enough to hear any instruction. Could you hear the slight hint of sarcasm there? Thank the good Lord above for Music Express magazine. Remakes (for children) of “Lean on Me,” “Never Say Never,” “Magic,” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” help me to keep them calm enough to prevent them from hurting each other.

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  3. Laura Hile Post author

    There you go, Robin. Get them singing their hearts out. Moving to the beat instead of beating on each other!

    When my middle schoolers won’t settle down (that wonderful after lunch study hall), my solution is to make them march. Around and around the field they go, even in the drizzle (heh-heh-heh). It’s fun for them…at first. This happened last week.

    What they don’t realize is that, in a small school like ours, everybody sees them out there. And later, the upperclassmen deride them and ask what they did wrong. I have a reputation to uphold, after all.

    Robin, is this your book? The Guardian High ratings for a first book are so wondrously gratifying, but alas, the bar is held high for that second one … πŸ™‚

    I think that’s part of my struggle with Mercy’s Hard Bargain. I don’t want to disappoint fans of the series. And I haven’t quite got my finger on the driving emotional pulse. Yet.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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