In case you’ve been wondering about my absence from blogging I promise I have not been slacking off. The web work is coming in steadily and I’ve been diligently writing in whatever spare time I could find. Just don’t ask me how many time’s I’ve burnt dinner
In truth I’ve written more these first few months of 2012 than I have in a very long time and all it took was stepping away from the computer to go old school…pen and paper. I won’t go on about the distractions of the internet – how has this tool of productivity become the ultimate time waster? - that could take up a whole other blog. Instead picture me, pen in hand, huddled at the kitchen table, on the recliner, in bed, at work on my lunch hour,
writing and writing until my hand cramped (every damn time). It was very cathartic and today, as a total “aha” moment happened in my WIP, I realized that this first draft sucks. Not just mildly, but so badly that the ‘aha’ moment came as I totally veered away from the course I’d been on, rushing headlong through a wild tangent that will force me to rewrite the thousands of words I’d already written. I wanted to be pissed off, but much like the moment I realized I needed to step away from the computer to write, now I know that first drafts were meant to suck.
In the past when I tried to write I was constantly editing as I went and subsequently got nowhere fast. If I made it to five or six chapters before totally overworking a story line into boredom, it was far. With pen and paper I couldn’t edit like that, not without crossing out or erasing my work into illegible nonsense. What I wrote had to stay so I had to keep going to find out if it would mean anything or nothing. Now I know it means everything and nothing. Somewhere among the scribble are shiny nuggets of gold I just have to mine them out and turn them into a more refined second draft.
For years I’ve been reading about writing, I belong to writers organizations and network with published authors. So often the “don’t make the same mistakes I have” advice is given and they mean well but whether book smart or street smart, honor roll student or flunky, we all learn best with a hands-on make your own mistake approach. So while I appreciate all the advice I’ll take the long road, the scenic path if you will. Ultimately I’ll get to my desired destination but in my own time and my own way and I can only be grateful for every wrong turn I take along the way.
What lesson did you learn today?