I’m curious to see the full spectrum from other writers on this topic, so I thought I’d ask about first time projects from other writers.
- What was completing your first novel like?
- What did you feel about it?
- Did you want to publish/share it or was it a private thing?
Just to clarify these questions a little, I’m referring to the first novel you wrote, not a debut novel publishing experience. I don’t know how that feels yet and right now I’m looking to make comparisons between my own experience and others’.
So I’ll break down these questions a little more. With #1 I mean when did you complete it? How long did it take? Was it something you labored over for years, agonizing over from high school through college and beyond? Or was it a whirlwind love affair between you and the page where you finished in 3 months or less as a teenager or college student? Did you start writing when you were middle-aged? Older? I was a freshman in high school when I completed mine and it only took a few months at most. It was a monumental achievement for me as I had trouble writing endings in the beginning and I felt I’d had a major success with that project.
With #2 I’m assuming that different people feel different things about their first time novels. I make this guess because I have an old fried from high school who was very proud of his first novel while I wanted to bury mine in the backyard and never speak of it again.
That stemmed from the fact that writing for me was personal. I worried incessantly that others would judge me as the writer, or that the material would be sub-par and laughable. I honestly never got over that completely. I still cringe at some of my work after it’s done and wonder, What the Hell was I thinking when I wrote that? Ugh! So I wondered, does anyone else feel that way about their writing? Is it hard to share? Do you worry about what others will think, or that your work isn’t worthy somehow? Personally I think this is a reflection of my shyness, but what’s everyone else’s take? How did you view your own early work?
And the last question is closely related to #2: Was your first project good enough to publish in your opinion? I’ve already answered that for myself in #2: Absolutely not. Interestingly enough, I looked back at my first project a few months ago and realized it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it was. Someday I’ll have to read it again, but not right now.
Since finishing that first project I’ve completed…6 novels more or less. One of those was a rewrite of a previous work, so if you want to be technically correct it’s only 5 novels. In the last few years I’ve completed a novel a year, though this year has been dedicated so far to making revisions on my agented novel.
Anyway, enough about me. Any writers out there, what was your first project like? Even if you haven’t finished it yet, I’m sure you can give some insight into the process. How long has it taken? When did you start? How do you feel about it? Did you have trouble with the ending like I did? So leave me a comment below, tell me what your own experiences have been like!