An Ode to First Drafts

So I’m writing a new novel at the moment. My first young adult novel. It’s a wily beast of a thing. And this is kinda what my days look like (or my ode to first drafts)…

Writing with my pup curled on my lap

On the good days…

  • This is all I ever want to do. Write. With tea. In my pyjamas. With my dog. Always
  • Nothing is more joyous than frolicking through worlds I’ve made up
  • How can I get out of this social thing? My characters are more interesting than my friends
  • Outside a cyclone brews / tsunamis hit / aliens attack / squirrels take over government … but I’m still writing
  • Dinner? What do you mean ‘have I cooked dinner’? I have on my hands an angsty teen with supernatural powers and a world to save
  • Weeeeeeeee!

Writing at my fav local Italian cafe

On the bad days…

  • I’m so busy. I have to clean the dishes / fold the laundry / wash the dog / grout the something or other / find other things to procrastinate with
  • My desk is too messy to write. I need ‘space’
  • Look at the weather! It’s too rainy to write. Instead I’ll curl up with a book and feel melancholy
  • Look at the weather! It’s too sunny to write. Instead I’ll go frolic in the park and feed ducks
  • I know I came to this cafe to write but I ran into a friend / really interesting stranger / the guy from that TV show, who I must talk to
  • I have all this paperwork to do. Important paperwork. Like tax. And bills. And online quizzes about which literary genius I’m most like

Every day… 

………Good day or bad

………….Excuses or not

………………If the world is still revolving then I’m still writing

It’s the only way to get a first draft done

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5 Responses to “An Ode to First Drafts”


  1. 1 Dimity Powell May 28, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Here Here! Because feeding ducks is important too.

  2. 3 shewrite63 May 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Puttering, folding laundry and washing dishes can provide opportunities to mentally review recent drafts and ideas that can embellish or add value.

    Congratulations and good luck on the first, second and more drafts. It can be a drawn-out process mixed with love, sadness, pleasure and pain.

    I look forward to following your progress. Keep it up.

    From someone who doesn’t have the strength to go through writing a novel again…

    • 4 Katherine Battersby May 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      So true. For that reason I try to start each writing day with a few little chores to give my head time to get back into the story / characters. It’s only when I keep finding chores to do that it becomes procrastination!

      Sorry to hear how you’re feeling about novel writing – your summary is true to my experience of it too. While it can be rewarding and thrilling, it’s also an insanely challenging thing to take on. It’s an incredible feat to get through one, so congrats to you.

      Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. 5 Brian Grove June 7, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Hi Katherine,

    Nice post. I like your site, you have some interesting articles. My site compliments yours, consisting of interesting articles from a published author, plus a free resource of over1000 traditional book publishers currently accepting submissions – the largest on the web. Keep up the good work.

    Regards, Brian


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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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