I couldn’t wait for this morning. There is nothing on the calendar. It is empty. As far as I’m concerned, this is about as perfect as a Saturday morning can be. It is waiting to be filled with my favorite things.
- Writing words.
- Hot tea.
- Snuggles with my kids.
- A little bit of art.
Why, then, am I having trouble putting words on the page for my latest YA project? Maybe because words are swirling in my head for my professional book? Maybe because I’ve been thinking so deeply about my NCTE presentation? Maybe…maybe…maybe….
If I’m honest, it might be because I’m thinking more about getting the story right and less about getting words on the page. This is what makes drafting difficult for me. It’s like a constant battle inside of me. Sometimes it feels like getting words down is in direct conflict with getting the story right. This is strange to me.
I’m not one of those writers who has the story in her head. The story doesn’t become real to me until I put words down on the page. And yet, it is putting words down on the page that is most difficult for me. I think this is a conundrum
The only solution I can find is to write through the uncomfortable part of my process. I must open a document. Read the last few sentences of the story. Then write a word, followed by another word and another and another. I need to trust myself that this isn’t the end of it all. There will be revision and more revision. My crit partner
and writing group are generous people and will still like me even if the story bites. And maybe, just maybe, part of the process is writing something — even something terrible in order to get to something decent, that may, in the end, become something good.
So no more delay — I’m off to write one word and another word and another and another.
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We used to speak of personal process in my classroom. I felt that if I supported each individual in the 'how', then the 'what' would come. If you write word after word, and another and another, it's fine. Probably works well for you, maybe not so much for others. Maybe your group can share what it's like for each? Best wishes in the process!
I think it is Katherine Paterson who said the first draft doesn't have to be good; it just has to be finished. Go for it!