On writing a book.

“Every first draft is perfect, because all a first draft has to do is exist.”
– Jane Smiley

Jon sent me that quote a few days ago, after I mentioned that I’d been writing.  Not just general writing, but writing for my actual book.  The one that the editor is waiting for.  The one that will one day be published.   I’ve finally started to really get into the groove of it all, this book writing thing.  I must admit, it’s so much harder than writing a blog post.  Every time I think I’ve written something well, I have the need to quickly publish it so I can get instant gratification in the form of blog comments.  I’m such an attention whore.  When it’s on my terms.  Because, see, something that I’m struggling with is the worry that reading the truth of my book will hurt someone I love.  Their feelings are all I can think of when I write down a story about them.  Will they like this?  Will they be embarrassed by this? Will this make them cross?  Does this make me look bad?


A new Twitter friend who happens to be a published author and really down to earth South African personality, Casey, has been giving me pep talks via Twitter DM.  ExMi forced Casey’s book on me at her house one day and told me she loved it.  For those of you who know ExMi, she’s hard to impress.  So on her recommendation alone, I took the bloody book.  I read the entire thing in two or three days, and then I stalked the author online and became her new Twitter buddy.  As a testament to how humble she is, she answered my tweets and DMs and now she checks in on me from time to time to see how far I am with my book, and when I give excuses, she kicks my ass a little.  She’s an amazing woman who has overcome so much, and her book made me laugh and laugh and laugh and also, cry.

Please buy ‘An Appetite for Peas’, written by Casey B Dolan.  I honestly couldn’t put it down.  And at the moment, she’s really encouraging me to be as honest and open in my book as I can.  So if there’s any hope of me ever finishing mine, let’s keep Casey’s goodwill, ok?

an appetite for peas

But back to the quote above.  Right now, I’m writing like there’s no one who will ever read this book.  It’s keeping me sane, it’s stopping me from over analysing every sentence.  And I really, really need to stop analysing every bloody sentence.  It was an important thing to relearn.  This is my story, no one else’s.  And I’m kind of enjoying jotting it all down so far.


  1. Melanie Chisnall says:

    It’s awesome that you’re going for it and sharing your writing experiences on your blog. A great way to give yourself a kick in the butt because it’s all right here in black and white! 😉 I’m a fan of Casey B. Dolan, so will definitely be on the lookout for her book. Keep going and enjoy all the writing!

  2. Stef says:

    Sheena, honestly, this poor book needs to see the light of day, this century preferably, long time coming 🙂

    My mom wrote a book too, her memoires, and let me just say this, people will be upset, no matter how diplomatic you are, no matter how nice you say something, they will find a way to be offended. What I’ve learnt from my Mom is, it is what it is, you know your intentions are good and people should know this about you.

    Happy writing, like Angel, I c*a*n*n*o*t* wait!

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