The Unromantic First Draft

These are the words of Natalie Glynn, Balboa Press author of “The Bohemian Science of Too”. Natalie answered the call to write her book and self-publish with Balboa Press. To learn more about her story visit her website, Facebook, and Twitter. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information. 

Figuring out the Process

As a writer, or specialist of sorts, looking to transition to a first-time published author you understand you have a message to contribute. The nuances of motivation aside, the intellectual process is the same: words on paper create pages that create a manuscript that gets tweaked (sometimes a few times) and, for the brave and disciplined, becomes a book through publishing. I can’t tell you how many times I picked up, fumbled, and put down that process because I had a different, infinitely more romantic version of how the process was supposed to play out in my head. I realized I had to shift my focus from the emotional daydream of holding my book in my hands to becoming the writer who created the work while navigating a 9 to 5 for some time, marriage, pregnancy, and then motherhood. I spent many years observing others publish but would leave corporate to become an author in eleven months.


A Different Approach

For me, writing a book looked nothing like Hemingway in a café. It looked like speaking into my smartphone to transcribe my words into content text while food shopping or en route to meetings to edit at a later time. It evolved into using transcription software to multitask in the home. It looked like Google searches to find better ways to move a large volume of ideas or words for quick reorganization. It looked like reference materials and notebooks piled on my desk and notes I transferred from my phone to my laptop desktop that, at times, were messy. It looked like an hour, even 15 minutes, here or there with constant interruptions for months that included organizing, reorganizing, checking reminders, rescheduling, and occasionally typing and deleting the same sentence ten times through four drafts.

It’s OK to be less than thrilled with your first draft and even step back to find your direction, but keep going. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Do the work and polish it into something of value. I wrote and published a book in less than a year. I couldn’t be more proud of the result. If I had stopped the first, second, or even third draft I would not be in a position to do what I dreamed of doing since I was a child, author a book.

Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by the submission form on the Guidelines page. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.

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