It’s the first day of NaNoWriMo! I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it. I hope this enthusiasm carries me through the next 30 days, because I know it’s going to get really hard once I’m up to my eyeballs in words and self-doubt. (Because self-doubt is very, VERY real.)
I thought I’d share with you something I’ve come to realize about the first draft. (If you want more tips about drafting, check out my Writer’s workshop!)
Writing is a craft and an art. You, the author, are like a sculptor beginning a new sculpture.
The final sculpture is your novel.
The first draft is nothing more than putting the clay on the plate or the wheel. The second draft is where you begin to mold that clay into something resembling a story.
But in order to form that clay into something, you first have to have clay to work with. The first draft is that clay.
I used to get all worked up about how bad my writing was. If a particular scene was just really flat, or a character’s dialogue sounded stupid, or if I really had a hard time thinking about what happened next, it would stop me from moving forward in the story. If something wasn’t perfect, I couldn’t let it go–it had to be perfect.
I let perfect be the enemy of good. And worse, I let perfect be the enemy of completion.
One of the purposes of NaNoWriMo is to force yourself to write until the project is completed, and that’s really hard to do if you continue to rewrite and edit the first chapter because it has to be perfect before you move on. Forget about perfection for a second.
Just get the clay on the plate so you have something to work with.
You can’t mold a sculpture without clay and you can’t write a great story or book without a draft to work with. Get that lump of shapeless nonsense down on the page so you can go in and mold it slowly but surely into something beautiful over a second and third (and maybe more) drafts.
You can do this!
As I begin NaNoWriMo, I intend to use this blog, (and Instagram–follow me! 🙂 ) as accountability. I don’t know how consistent I’ll be, it may be just a weekly, check in. (I’d love to do daily, but I have kids and stuff, you know.)
But here it is, this first NaNo check in!!
Day One: November 1, 2020
Daily Word Count: 0
Word Count Goal: 2000 (I want to start off with a bang!)
Total Word Count so Far: 0
Currently feeling: Pumped! I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to writing and I’m so excited to start!
It’s not to late to join me! Tell me what your working on right now in the comments below!
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