An Open Letter to the First Draft of My Novel

You’re not ready yet. But you will be.


I spent months secretly imagining what it would be like to finally call you “finished.”

Spending time with you was a constant shifting between joy, uncertainty and frustration. I wanted you to be great – you wanted to be great, too. Sometimes I just couldn’t meet you halfway. Some days I failed you. I know that must have been hard for you. But we stuck together. We made it work. We won.

This is a partnership I have and will always cherish. To write a story from beginning to end is an accomplishment that can only be described as “astonishing.” Sometimes I still scroll through your pages and find it difficult to believe we created something original, something tangible, just by sitting in a chair and willing ourselves to put ideas into words and words onto screens.

But I must admit that you yourself are finished, but your legacy is thus far incomplete. You see, right now you are only a draft. A finished project that can be made even better with improvements. A prototype. That is not to say you are “bad.” You just have a much brighter future than what I could offer if I sent you out into the world right now to fend for yourself. You’re not ready yet. But you will be.

You have a lot of room to grow. Months from now, you won’t even recognize yourself. You will not be the same then as you are now. But I don’t want you to think that means I don’t care about you, or that I don’t appreciate how far you have already come. I want you to thrive. If you let me, I will help you to change for the better.

If you only knew how much you have already changed my life. You make me believe I am more capable than I feel. You make me stronger. I am a better person, a better storyteller, a better friend because of you. I want other people to feel the way I do about you. I want to share the joy and insight and heartache you bring. I don’t want to keep that to myself.

I know that may come as a shock to you … but I wanted to ask you if it’s OK. Can I make you better than you already are? Can I introduce you to other people? You’re too special to keep hidden away. Maybe not everyone will understand or accept you. Maybe you won’t be able to speak the same message to everyone with the same level of power and importance. But you will always matter to me. As you are now, and as you will be in the future. You have a story to tell. I want to prepare you for everything you will face once I send you out into the world for the first time. Why? Because that’s the only way I can show my appreciation and love for you. Do you understand?

I guess you’re just a book. To many people, you don’t have feelings. But you have a voice and you convey emotions in a way many people can’t do themselves. I think, in some abstract way, that still counts. I think that’s what makes you special. You speak your mind. You have the power to change someone’s life.

Don’t get too excited yet. You’re not ready, remember? But be patient. You will be. Soon.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.