Swoon Author Jennifer Honeybourn's First Draft Report: Little by Little
Coming up with new book ideas is super fun. I can—and often do—spend hours creating stories and characters in my head. You know what’s not as fun? Getting those stories from my head and onto the page during the first draft stage.
My first drafts are a mess. Like dumpster-fire level. I try to focus on getting the plot straight, rather than worry about making a sentence perfect. I say "try" because I don’t always succeed at this. I know that working the same sentence over and over again isn’t a great use of my time—especially when that sentence could end up being cut out of the book altogether—but I still sometimes get stuck.
I had about four months to write the first draft of Just My Luck. The experience was different from Wesley James Ruined My Life and When Life Gives You Demons. I’d written some/all of the drafts for both those books before Swoon Reads bought them, but with Just My Luck I had to write from the ground up... and on a deadline. Fortunately for me, I find deadlines helpful. If I know that I have to get this book to my editor by a certain date, then I have to work towards that.
If you’re struggling to stay motivated once the shininess of that new idea starts to wear off—super common—there’s a ton of advice out there on how to keep yourself going. When I need to crank it out, I use Jerry Seinfeld’s "Don’t Break the Chain" method. Basically, every day that you write, you get to mark a big red X on your calendar. The key is to write every day and not to break the chain. Simple, but it works (for me, anyway... and apparently for Jerry Seinfeld).
Your book isn’t going to write itself (unfortunately). If you can manage to work on your manuscript even a little bit each day, then eventually you’ll end up with a book. So finding whatever it takes to keep you motivated and writing is key.
Just My Luck goes on sale July 16! Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf!