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Sage green background. Illustrated Notebook with text, "I'm a Big Baby When it Comes to First Drafts."

I’m a Big Baby When it Comes to First Drafts

I’m writing the final book in my Wyoming Legacies series, and it’s a struggle. First drafts are the hardest part of writing for me. While I enjoy watching the story and characters develop, it takes brain power to expand the basic plot points into a full novel.

I’m not a revise-as-you-go writer. No, I get the first draft down as quickly as possible and clean up the mess when it’s done. This one will need a dumpster and bleach.

I have about nine thousand words left to write. So, I’m nearing the end. You’d think I’d be excited to be this close to finishing. You’d be wrong.

Thirty minutes ago I pretended to sob out loud like a toddler denied an ice cream cone because I didn’t know what to write next. This happens on a regular basis. How regular? Once an hour? I don’t know. When I’m getting the story down, I’m a ball of anxiety.

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Restlessness takes over. I cannot sit still, because if I do, I have to think of what to write next. So I cut up a few strawberries. I really want potato chips. And I force myself to write another paragraph.

I write three more pages.

They. Are. Terrible.

Who cares? Words are on the page. That’s about all I can ask for at this point.

When I end the writing session, I’m flooded with a sense of relief. And one of doom.

The writing is choppy. I’m pretty sure I repeated the same conversation six times. Does the last scene even make sense? No. It doesn’t.

I walk away, telling myself I’ll fix everything after the draft is done.

Later, when I’m cooking dinner, I no longer hate what I wrote. I remember something insightful that came out, and I realize what I forgot to add to one of the scenes.

Writing a first draft is hard for me. But I love it. And I hate it.

What can I say? I’m a big baby when it comes to first drafts.


In one month, Training the K-9 Companion (#ad) will be in stores! This is the third book in my Wyoming Legacies series and the July installment of Love Inspired’s K-9 Companions series. It’s available to preorder now!

Optimized cover for Training the K-9 Companion

Enjoy your week!


Jill Kemerer is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of heartwarming, emotional, small-town romance novels often featuring cowboys. She hopes to encourage readers through her books the way so many books have encouraged her. Jill's essentials include coffee, caramels, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. For more information, visit her website,

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hang in there, Jill! Soon, you’ll be moving on to edits, and then you can really have fun with the story!

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