When the “new & improved” Microsoft Office that came with my new laptop basically trashed my manuscripts, I fought to recover & rework them into Manuscript format instead of “Blog” or “Office” format (quotation words are Microshit Office’s descriptions). I then discovered my new, oh-so-fab laptop hates WordPress, going offline within moments of logging in.
Now, as any writer knows, doing actual work correcting a manuscript can kill the creative process. I wanted, needed, to WRITE, not mess around fixing what Microshit had ruined! I did finish the fourth draft of my main manuscript & emailed it to my First Readers. Now I just have to wait for their reports. Finally, I could work on the rough draft of the second book manuscript, but I faced 148 pages of Microshit mess.
So, I dug the old laptop out of the closet, hoping the originals were still fine and that it would finally let me into WordPress as well. Ta-da! It works!
Okay, I can hear the questions: Why FOUR drafts of one manuscript? Well, to me, it’s a fourth draft; to my First Readers, it’s the third draft. I write off the top of my head, a brief summary, idea or character moving my thoughts and fingers. That’s right, I don’t do Outlines well at all. As I write, the backstories of the characters, the locations, and background info gets written in a notebook; I jot things down as they pop up (I write notes to myself all the time, anyway. Can’t keep a thought in my brain for longer than 30 seconds these days!). A dictionary, thesaurus and Gregg’s Manual sit on my desk as well for quick checking of words, punctuation and grammar. If I need to research something, I jot down a key word to check it later online because I don’t want to stop writing, creating, to get bogged down reading & researching. All that can be put in later.
So that first draft is the roughest one, the idea growing, building, and no one sees that one! By MY third draft, it’s a well-rounded story that can be shared – it’s been proofread, polished, and filled in, but by that point, I need outside input to find what I’ve missed because I’m too close to the world I created. Too close to see what else needs doing. Thank you, First Readers, for any and all criticisms and input! 🙂
I’m not a “published author.” I’ve had a couple of stories published in magazines (years ago) and articles published (when I was a reporter for a local trade journal publishing house). I don’t know how authors work. I write for me first because I love to play in and with my creations. I love letting others read my stories and enjoy the feedback, enjoying their pleasure from reading what I’ve written. Will I ever have a published Book? Don’t know, I hope so, but it isn’t the main goal. My main goal is to just Write because it brings me Joy.
Okay, so why do I have a new laptop that won’t do what I need it to do, and why haven’t I returned it and gotten another or gotten that new one fixed? Because it was a gift, specifically, a gift from my husband. After thirty years, I’ve learned the hard way to NEVER return or reject anything he gives me. Hey, I like gifts and want more!
Return the beautiful laptop he bought me? Nah, I don’t think so! It works for other stuff and I’ll eventually figure out how to fix the weirdness.
For now, I just want to write, to play, to get my joy fix each day as the words flow and my worlds come to life. But even play needs to be practiced to be enjoyed, so I’m going to fire up whichever computer wants to behave! 🙂