Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Keep On Trucking

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you'll notice that I'm posting again in the afternoon instead of the morning.

That's because I followed my writing advice again, and made myself write for twenty minutes before going to the Internet. While it's a process that's working for me, I can totally understand some of your comments. It's hard when life is in the way (especially kids), and it's an easy thing for me to say I'm going to do when I have the summer off. However, I think it's something that you can make happen all year long. I hope to get into this habit and potentially set my alarm a bit earlier so I can write before work.

Now, I'm not sure if this will happen, because I am not a morning person AT ALL. I am going to try to write my blog posts the night before, because I like having them ready to go in the morning.

Let's see if I can swing all of these new writing habits. Do you want to place bets on whether I can or not!?

Speaking of new habits, I heard another good one today. I walk for an hour every morning and listen to books on tape and podcasts. I was listening to The Writing Show today and the topic was the psychology of writing. The guest was talking about the different things writers face that may be different from what people in other jobs face. One thing he mentioned was self doubt. Oh boy, do I encounter self doubt. Especially now, with my book on submission, it's often hard to keep writing when you get rejections and hear about other writers who are selling, selling, selling.

The guest talked about how a lot of people will have a great idea and the momentum of this will keep them going for about a third of the story. Then...your self editor comes into play. You go back, read the story and start to edit. You start to make changes, think about potential problems and sometimes, you want to stop. You may have another good idea and think that will be better. You may read other books and think that your book will never measure up. You may edit, edit, edit and never move forward.

The guest on this show told the listeners to keep writing. He told them that almost every writer doubts themselves at different points of the writing process and those are the most important times in writing. Those are the times when you can't stop writing and need to push yourself through. He said that if we were to put this book aside to work on another idea (usually one we think is better), we'll probably get to the same point with that one and eventually, we'll end up with a computer of half finished book files.

This may be simple advice, but I heard what he was saying.

You need to keep going as a writer and survive that first draft.

After the first draft, you can put it aside for awhile, walk away from it, perhaps start another book, but you need to finish. If you don't finish, you might never finish, and a first draft isn't about being perfect.

This is good advice to hold on to, because I feel like I'm trying to survive my first draft right now. I'm moving forward and not going back to edit. That will be for when I'm done, and if I wait, I will get done.

Do you have this same problem? Do you have trouble turning off the self editor or self doubt? How do you get through it?


Emily White said...

One thing I've discovered is there's no point in editing the first draft until you're done. How can you edit something when you don't know for sure what the end is going to be?

Kara said...

"Then your self editor kicks in..."

OMG this is me. The time I spend revising the entire manuscript is barely half the time I spend revising incomplete sections!

Kristan said...

Oh GOODNESS yes, I have this problem. My Internal Editor is my worst enemy -- too bad it's me!!