Or a gold star either
I loved this. Some of the writers I coach really struggle with this, about getting everything perfect from the start. Understanding that it's a process, that you start and continue and hone and only then worry about all those things can be a difficult lesson to learn. That your first draft won't be your last, but that's ok. Once you've got your story down, then it's time to really get to work.
I really resonated with the idea of writing what you love. It seems to me that if you didn’t then writing could become a real grind very quickly. As it stands for me, I get up everyday excited about what I’m writing and sometimes have a hard time getting to sleep because I’m thinking about it.
One thing I’ve found in my life is that if you’re doing something where time disappears then you know you're on the right track to feed your soul.
Thanks, Kate, for the reminder that we don't have to be perfect. I'm a recovering perfectionist so I know it's not easy to remember that, especially when it comes to things I really care about like my writing. But I think most of us (probably all) started writing because we love it. And we can't stop ourselves from writing--because we love it. So, we need to just write then fix it in revision. Of course, no matter how many times we revise, the writing's still never going to be perfect, is it? But, hopefully, in the end, it's pretty doggone good, and hopefully, we had fun along the way. :)
Thank you! I agree that there's a bit of a perfectionist that lives inside of me and speaks before I even have the chance to type a word, but we're starting to become better friends lately. I also like to work out, but for me it's hitting the weight room. What I enjoy about the weight room is the quantifiable progress in the way that my program is structured to add 5 lbs per workout, and I mostly repeat the same exercises each time. It gives my perfectionism something to grab ahold of. I was making great progress on my novel, about 1000 words per day, but last week or so I've been absolutely blocked, I think that my old buddy grabbed hold and won't let go. I think a large part of it is that I got the story out of my head. But I've still got plenty to write.
This is a mood and an attitude I have to check myself on often; thank you for the reminder! You put it so well.
It reminds me of that viral tweet (https://twitter.com/yellowcardigan/status/1103442178787999745) and all the meme reiterations there of; "I will get a good grade in (x), a thing both normal to want and possible to achieve".
I spent last weekend away with some friends, one of whom had just read the first three chapters of my redrafted debut MS, another who'd read the entire 180k first draft. Both of them told me to stop being a perfectionist and try to get the novel into a bookshop. Your advice here has provided another kick up my backside. Thank you!
What a beautiful metaphor and apt message! Step aerobics. So fun. For me, it’s rollerblading all the way.
Phew. I guess I needed this!
Sometimes I want to combine second book and have 130k or so, but then I suck it up, because while I still have more that *definitely* has to come out - two chapters or 7000 words? to inform what best gal pal does post-wedding as betrayal/get even enough...? - in
Yeah, and knowing there's polishing to be done but SUBMISSION IS ON HORIZON is part of the mantra. Some of my writing still goes to 'production for others and blogging,' but that doesn't mean I'm not serious about getting this done. As female buddy said when self-published first Marlena the Magnificent book, "It took you 25 years to get first one published, you might not have that much time to get another done."
Second effort, 'A Triple Shot of Karma & Platinum Fury Focus' is close. I promise myself. Buying into A&B hits a participation goal, catching up with like minded.
Wonderful and helpful post. Thank you!
Always goes back to the "Why." The process? To say something? To wear tweed? For me, it's fun and part of the transition to empty nester. I appreciate your thoughts because the "why" should drive everything we do and writing is one heck of an activity not to be passionate about your why.
Exactly what I just found out too ❤️x
As a writer, I have a script in my head: “Is my idea marketable? Will anyone buy a book about doomed romance?” Thank you for giving me permission not to get that A+ or gold star. It is such timely advice. I might not get anything at all, but the story is still worth writing just like learning new dance moves.
I could not love this -- or feel you are speaking to me -- more!! Thanks, Kate.
Thank you so much for this. I’m struggling with getting the “perfect” outline right now (not even a draft) and don’t feel like I can start writing without a clear roadmap. But just as trying to write perfectly can be paralyzing, I find myself overwhelmed by the planning. Perhaps the answer is remember that my outline doesn’t get a grade, nor does it have to be etched in stone!
Thanks for this great reminder. I hear this in my brain, but I still kill myself with rewrites, and editing a gazillion times before I have half a manuscript written. It's not that I'm worried about pleasing an agent or a reader so much, as pleasing my perfectionist self. I love to write and I want to do it well. Writing forward.