Monday, August 13, 2012

Counting Drafts

I spent today going through the 8.5 x 11, 10 ream box in my closet and throwing away old drafts of my novel, Moonshine Murder. To save trees, I would print double-sided, and would edit on the computer when I could. My total? Well, honestly there are too many to count accurately since I would often use the same print-out for several drafts, using different color ink to track changes.

Let's just say that I've taken quite the trip through those drafts.

Tossing that incredibly heavy pile was like letting go of a chunk, a big chunk of my life. Some drafts had artwork in bright red and green crayon left by my little helper. I kept those pages, and taped them to my wall with his other artwork. Others were covered in a different kind of red, the formidable red ink of a marked-up page. I kept a couple of those too, to remind me how far I've come.

But it was worth it. All those drafts. Moonshine Murder finally has a home! I'm now entering into a whole new phase of my writing career, and probably a whole new stack of drafts.

And the rejection letters? I'm keeping those as a road map of my journey--some wrong turns, some right.


  1. Hi Erin, Thanks so much for writing about this. I loved the photo of the stacks of drafts and reading how you kept a few pages with art in crayon. It is a rite of passage - to at least let go of those drafts. I've experienced this with my books - it's a little scary to actually let go, since "What if I need something from here?!" and then feels so freeing once one does. Thanks for sharing the freedom. And yes - rejection letters a road map of the journey. Beautiful.

  2. That photo of the drafts is really something. After college, my son filled a trash-can sized recycling container with books. "It's all in your brain now," I said. Same with your drafts. Proof you are a better writer than you were.

  3. Great post, Erin. I can track the drafts of my first book (HUACHUCA WOMAN) through the use of various devices: Mom's portable Royal typewriter, a Brother electric typewriter, a Brother word processor, Dell, Gateway, Apple and Hewlitt Packard computers....and, yes, yards of print outs, stacks of disks, several flashdrives and now an electronic back-up...nevermind the original yellow pad and pen. Feels like a trip through history! Congrats that you are now able to recycle so much of your earlier material and have found lovely memorabilia.

  4. I really enjoyed your post, Erin. You must feel a wonderful and liberating sense of achievement. Every success with Moonshine Murder!