Click here to Download The Roughest Draft PDF Book by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley having PDF Size 3.7 MB and No of Pages298.
I was fresh out of college. When I graduated from the University of Virginia and into the job I’d found fetching coffee and making copies in a publishing house, I felt like my life hadn’t really started. I’d enjoyed college, enjoyed the rush I got learning whatever I found genuinely interesting, no matter the subject—fungal plant structures, behavioral economics, the funeral practices of the Greco-Roman world.
The Roughest Draft PDF Book by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
|Name of Book||The Roughest Draft|
|PDF Size||3.7 MB|
|No of Pages||289|
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I just knew I wouldn’t be who I wanted to be until I wrote and published. Then I went upstate and found Nathan, and he found me. I remember walking out of the welcome dinner, hugging my coat to my collar in the cold, and finding him waiting for me. We’d met earlier in the day, and his eyes lit up when he caught me leaving the restaurant. We introduced ourselves in more depth.
He mentioned he was engaged—I hadn’t asked. I was single—I didn’t volunteer the information. It wasn’t like that between us. While we walked out to Susquehanna River Bridge in the night wind, we ended up exchanging favorite verses of poetry, reading them from online on our phones. We were friends. The hiking days were the pre-publication fervor of Only Once. Nathan and I were no longer speaking.
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We’d finished rounds of developmental and copyedits and were in the crush of publicity and meetings for other opportunities, which we did over the phone whenever possible. Every day, instead of writing or reading or just enjoying my downtime, I was watching what was only a Word document on my computer grow into this monster of epic promotional proportions. I wasn’t well.
I woke up with cold in my fingers and my feet and went to bed exhausted from worrying and inexpressibly grateful for the reprieve of sleep. I googled “post-success depression” from my phone under the covers. I sought out my therapist in New York, who I still call, though less often now. Interviews were grueling—I, who once wrote hundreds of words per hour, struggled to push single sentences past the cage of insecurity and uncertainty in which I lived.
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I’m under no illusion that what stressed me out was watching the success of Only Once. It wasn’t humility. It was fear. I hadn’t felt this way with Connecting Flights, with its modest deal, its respectful but ordinary reviews. But with Only Once, I was close to having what I wanted, and if I had what I wanted, I could lose it. The possibility felt like radioactive material, and I was certain it would chew up my insides or make me lose my hair or whatever holding onto plutonium would do. I hated it.
The fact that I haven’t heard from Katrina herself even once is what has me doubting this will ever happen. The point of this call is ostensibly to discuss ideas, yet the coauthors haven’t communicated enough to pick a genre. Granted, I haven’t exactly reached out, either. I fed myself bullshit reasons whenever I considered contacting her. She could’ve gotten a new cell number.
She could’ve changed her email. For a fiction writer, I came up with pretty unconvincing excuses. The email doesn’t come. I’m on my couch in my condo in Chicago, the white room quiet. It’s undecorated and impersonal, except for the books everywhere. Floor-to-ceiling shelves holding my collection of fiction, memoirs, history. The Roughest Draft PDF Book
They, and the complete absence of anything else noteworthy in my apartment, are reminders of how this—writing—is everything I am. When I found my craft, I clung and clung and clung to it, until it clung to me, intertwined with who I was. And now I have no way of existing outside of it.
There’s only one potential problem with our new working routine, one Katrina and I have chosen to ignore. We don’t write the flashback romantic scenes. It’s an unspoken agreement. Whenever we reach one, we move right on to the next scene instead. While I know we have to write them eventually, I’m daunted by the prospect.
If we’re drawing from our relationship in the scenes where the characters argue, what will we draw from in the scenes of their romance? I’m contemplating the question while I read the vitriolic passage in front of me, open on Katrina’s rose-gold MacBook. Katrina watches me, her eyes hawkish, sitting with one foot curled under her the way she does. The Roughest Draft PDF Book
Her expression neutral, she’s pretending she’s impassively waiting for my reaction. I know better. I notice her gaze hasn’t left me. “The parallels to me are a little heavy-handed,” I finally say. Katrina is writing Michael to be selfish, full of himself, and rash. In fairness, I’ve written Evelyn petty and fearful. I know exactly what I’m doing. Katrina obviously does, too.
I PUSH MYSELF hard on my nightly run. I want my body exhausted, wrecked, empty of everything except the pain of exertion. When I hit my sheets, I want to collapse into sleep so hard I won’t remember whatever dreams I have about what happened with Katrina. They’ll come, I know, the visions seared into my head of her leaning over the dining table.
her body low, her scent intoxicating. It’s one thing dreams have in common with writing—their tendency to betray me to myself. The echo of my footsteps is the only sound on the dark street. I’ve run for hours. Finally, I let myself stop on our corner, lungs on fire, thighs screaming. I bend over with my hands on my knees and gulp for breath. The Roughest Draft PDF Book
“You’re either training for a race,” I hear over my shoulder, “or you’re punishing yourself.” It’s Meredith. I recognize the Southern lilt in her voice. Straightening up, I find her hefting a garbage bag out to the bin. Her slouchy, open-front sweater falls off one shoulder, exposing a deep V-neck. I know she’s joking, even though her words hit uncomfortably close to truth.
When I found writing, I realized what it meant to have something where I shone. Where I could be someone. It scared me. It scared me to have this thing I’d long instinctually felt I was missing, because I knew with cutting clarity how it would feel to lose it. When Only Once was coming out, those fears finally caught up to me, and even though I got control of my nerves, it took me months, even years, to recover from what they had done.
Emotional episodes like those hit like natural disasters. Everything isn’t just repaired once the hurricane or the flood passes. I needed to rebuild. Which wasn’t easy when some days I felt like I was flunking an exam on myself. I would find myself literally unable to decide whether I wanted to read or rewatch old Gilmore Girls episodes or run in the park. Some days, I dutifully picked plans and executed them.
For two weeks now, we’ve traded pages every night, passing them under each other’s doors like clandestine letters. Which, in many ways, they are. I feel us getting closer. Compliments come easier on paper, confessions, casual thoughts. It’s how writing is. It cuts to the core, suffering no obfuscations. It’s where the truth is laid bare. The Roughest Draft PDF Book Download
I’ve learned things big and small—how Katrina wants more from her life, how she yearns for and fears the world of writing and publishing, how she hates the smell of basil. She gifts me these secrets, sometimes in the words she slashes, sometimes in the feelings she chooses to elaborate or the feelings she chooses to remove.
With the two of us writing simultaneously, we’re making startling progress on the manuscript. When we both took stabs at a scene where the newly separated Evelyn goes to a nightclub, looking for a rebound, Katrina suggested in a comment on the pages we do some setting research. We’re an hour from Miami, she’d written. Sunday?
WE’RE JUST DAYS from finishing Only Once. This has my emotions erratic, uncontrollable, like the needle on whatever internal sensor measures my feelings is wavering wildly. There’s joy and relief, the inevitable counterpoints of finishing a novel, sharpened but simultaneously undercut by the expectations heaped on this book. The Roughest Draft PDF Book Download
Then there’s looming depression I can see clouding the horizon. Without Only Once to work toward, to focus on each day, I’ll be untethered, drifting out to sea. I’ll return home, leaving this house, leaving this piece of my life. Leaving Nathan. He sits at the end of the table, typing furiously, running his hands through his hair. It’s the middle of the day, the summer warmth coating every surface of every room. Despite the heat, I feel a chill. I’ll still see Nathan in New York, I know. It’ll just be different.
WHEN NATHAN RETURNED from his run, his hair windswept, he rushed upstairs. I couldn’t help smiling. It was perfectly Nathan. The night we turn in something huge, he’s springing upstairs to start something. I recognized the fresh frenzy of inspiration in him. I’ve seen it in the seat next to mine on international flights, on mornings when he stands in front of his computer, coffee untouched on the counter, in his pajamas, too consumed by his ideas to move. It’s incredible, if also unnerving.
I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the night. When I return upstairs from grabbing a glass of water before bed, I notice his door ajar, his light still on. It’s nearly eleven—I was reading, engrossing myself in one of the books I’d packed but not found the time to open. Past the door, I see half of him. He’s hunched over his desk, writing under the yellow light. I notice he’s not on his computer. The Roughest Draft PDF Book Download
His hand flies over the page of the leather-bound journal he uses for brainstorming and freewriting whenever he’s working through something big. Katrina is kneeling in front of the fireplace, her hands empty, her eyes fixed on the golden parchment curling and catching flame in front of her. The heat consumes what I’ve written, welcoming it into the fire. She faces me, her expression empty.
I meet her stare, and an entire conversation is spoken in utter silence. She doesn’t want me. She hated what I wrote to her, enough to destroy the words instead of just disregarding them. No, that’s not right. I feel a separate fire catch in me. Because I understand what’s truly happening here. If Katrina felt nothing for me, she would just say so.
We would want to have conversations, figure out how to navigate our writing career going forward. She might even want to be friends. There’s only one reason to burn what I’ve written. She’s betraying herself. To destroy what I wrote could only mean she doesn’t want to face what it makes her feel. Because she does feel something. But she would rather hide, would rather pretend the words we’ve exchanged this summer were only a game. The Roughest Draft PDF Book Free
I’M WAITING FOR my date in one of the most obviously, intentionally hip restaurants I’ve ever been to in Brooklyn. The place has nothing on the walls, midcentury-modern furnishings in whites, grays, and light woods, moody electronic R&B pumping from speakers into the close-quarters dining room. I focus on the details, hoping they’ll distract me. I should have canceled. My stomach is in knots, my head chaotic.
I know I won’t enjoy myself—not when I’ll be spending every minute trying to vanquish the thought of Nathan’s New Yorker interview, which published earlier today. When it hit the internet, I told myself not to read it. Every minute since has been a test of strength, and I feel myself weakening. I check my phone. He’s late. Frustrated, I shove it back into my bag.
They haven’t brought menus yet, which is unfortunate. I could have read the prices of every esoteric option before inevitably deciding on the one least likely to further upset my stomach. Instead, I dutifully refocus on the décor, my eyes jumping restlessly from corner to corner. I won’t have to wait long, I reason. It’ll be fine. What’s five, or ten, or even fifteen more minutes when I’ve spent the entire day resisting? The Roughest Draft PDF Book Free