Friday, February 3, 2012


I'm so excited, as I officially finished the first draft of my Polar Night story today. I am doing the happy dance all around and will probably continue doing so all weekend. While I know I have tons of revising and editing to do, it still feels great to finish the first draft of my first ever book! :)

The draft turned out to be shorter than I'd planned, but while I was writing I made notes of things I knew I would need to go back and add, so I know the word count will go up quite a bit once I begin revising and editing. I figured adding things in would be easier than cutting things out, so I'm hoping that will turn out to be the case!

While marking this milestone on my Bylines calendar, I noticed that today is the birthday of author James Michener, who was born on February 3, 1907 and died in 1997. I've never read any of Mr. Michener's work, but I know he was a prolific author known for such works as Centennial, Chesapeake, and Tales of the South Pacific, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. When I was growing up, my mother was a big fan of his books.

I came upon this quote from Michener and I couldn't believe how appropriate it was for my position now as I set to work on revising and editing my story.

"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." ~ James Michener

I hope that will turn out to be the case for me as well!  

Either way, I'm going to let the draft sit for a bit before I begin revisions, as I want to be able to look at it with fresh eyes. I've heard this tip from several writer friends I admire, and I think it is sound advice.  

I am going back to my happy dance now. Happy Friday, and Happy Weekend, to all! :)


  1. Yay! Congratulations!!

    And yes, I highly recommend letting the draft sit for a bit before going back to it. :)

  2. Congrats! Celebrate, you've earned it!!

  3. Whoo hoo! Good for you, Julie!

    It's funny, because my drafts end up on the short side, too, and then I go back in and add things. I always thought I was kind of weird because most of the writers I know/read about seemed to have to cut more than add. But lately, I'm coming across more people who work like I do... :)

  4. @Cherie, thank you!! :)

    @Bonnie, thanks so much! :)

    @Madeline, thanks!! Glad I'm not alone as far as the short draft. I thought I was kind of weird too as I've usually read the opposite. So we can be weird together. :D

  5. Yay!!! Big congratulations. It's a very big accomplishment. And I love that Michener quote, because it is so true.

    Enjoy your moment and have a great weekend.

  6. Congrats! And enjoy that great feeling all weekend.

    So true about letting it sit. Anywhere from a week to a month. Or longer. You'll figure out what works best for you.

  7. @Lisa, thank you!

    @LG, thanks! I hope you have a great weekend as well.

    @Carol, thanks so much!

  8. Congratulations! Have fun celebrating this weekend. :)

  9. Congratulations on reaching an important milestone. Whatever else happens, you have a finished book in your hands!

  10. Have a hot cup of tea, some cheese and crackers and enjoy the fact that you are done, for now. Congrats!

  11. Woot! Woooot!! Wooooooottt!!

    I read Alaska by Michener which was an amazing read.

    Have a great weekend, Julie.

  12. Oh Julie! How wonderful - what a great accomplishment! The Dance of Joy is totally called for, and, you should have ice cream! With hot fudge sauce! I love that Michener quote - I relate to it totally. Yay You!

  13. Congratulations! Woo-hoo! Remember, so few people actually finish a novel when they start. You're way ahead of the game. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

  14. Congratulations! Enjoy your celebration. It must feel wonderful to have a completed manuscript to revise! I hope to have one myself soon.

  15. Congratulations! Virtual hug coming your way!!


  16. Super Duper Yay! Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations! (I've heard somewhere if you say it three times, it brings luck and I hope you'll find that in your book's future.)

  17. Yay!!!! :))) Well done Julie. I can feel your joy from here. The biggest hurdle has been jumped successfully!

    I have read and enjoyed a few of Michener's epics! Centennial was my favourite! x

  18. @Janel, I will, thank you!

    @Yvonne, thanks!

    @Derek, that makes me excited just to read it, true enough. Thank you!

    @LynnMarie, yay, I love tea, and I never tire of cheese & crackers, so that sounds like a yummy combo to me. Thanks!

    @Mary, thanks, hope you have a great weekend too!

    @Melissa, haha, you are so right, hot fudge is a must! At this rate I am going to be eating all weekend ha. Thanks so much!

    @Christine, oh, thanks, I really appreciate that. I hope you have a great weekend too, thanks!

    @Jennifer, you will, I'm sure of it. Good luck with finishing, and thanks!

    @Samantha, aww, thanks, hugs right back to you!

    @Gwen, oh, that's great, I know I need tons of luck LOL. Thank you!

    @Carolyn, thanks!! I remember watching a TV miniseries of Centennial when I was a kid. I know back then miniseries were such a HUGE deal on TV, I thought they were such big events LOL. Thank you!

  19. Well done! I always underwrite, but it means I can layer on anything else that's needed, and I think it gives my writing an extra richness... I 'hope' it does, anyway!

  20. Hi Julie .. Happy Dance it is then! Congratulations to you and perhaps Clancy is lucky - he'll get some more walks?!

    I think I read Centennial .. long, long, long! I'm sure it was good - but can't say I remember ..but as you say his words sound as though they ring true for you -

    Enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

  21. yay Julie!
    and that is an awesome quote! arent we all =)
    have a super weekend!

  22. Congrats on finishing your book Julie! This is a huge accomplishment especially with all of your other commitments! You chose an excellent quote and it will all be worth it in the end! Have fun celebrating! Julie

  23. Good for you Julie...and I love the James Michener quote you used about being a great rewriter...sometimes that is me!

  24. Back again, just to say I've left a couple of awards for you on my blog.

  25. Hi Julie, thanks for dropping in on "Dream Weaver!" Congrats to you on your on finishing what I think is the hardest part of a manuscript...just getting every thing down. I will be visiting you and am eager to learn of your progress and process. I've learned more aboutwriting from my peers than any class or book. Happy Dance all week. You desreve it!!!

  26. Congratulations! It's an amazing feeling to finish that first draft isn't it. It's such a huge achievement, so enjoy that feeling. Lots of people start books, but it takes dedication to keep going to the end. Well done!

  27. Wow! I am impressed! With determination like that, you'll find an agent in no time.

  28. @Annalisa, thank you! That is what I'm hoping for too. And thank you for the awards, I will be over to your blog, thanks so much!

    @Hilary, thank you! And yes, Clancy got some extra walks in this weekend. He doesn't like the happy dancing at all though, he barks at me to stop LOL. Hope you had a great weekend there, thanks so much.

    @Tara, thank you! I hope you had a wonderful weekend too.

    @Julie, thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

    @Tracy, I'm hoping it will be me as well.:D Thanks so much!

    @Tonja, thank you!

    @Debra, hi! Thanks for coming by here too, I'm so glad to have found your blog. I look forward to visiting with you too, thanks!

    @Rebecca, thank you! It really is a great feeling. :)

    @Kara, thanks!! Oh gosh, I sure hope so! Thanks so much.

  29. hi miss julie! woweee!!! how cool is that! for sure youre gonna be doing that happy dance for a while. im tossing confetti all over you and your ms and your blog. :)
    ...smiles from lenny

  30. @Lenny, thanks for the confetti!! And thanks for coming by here, great to see you. :)

  31. That's a great feeling! Keep dancing!

  32. @Jaxbee, thank you, I still am! :)

  33. Congrats on finishing your draft.... awesome achievement:)

  34. Hi Julie, I'm doing a Happy Dance for you as I read this.

    How wonderful to meet a benchmark you've set for onto the next step.

    I will be cheering on the sidelines - you Go Girl!

    Cheers, Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  35. @Jenny, thank you!! That's so nice of you, I really appreciate it. :)

  36. Congratulations! I love the feeling that comes with finishing the first draft. :)


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