Hi to all who are reading this. Thanks again for checking in with me each week. Accountability has really done wonders for me, helping me to stay vigilant with my writing. Not only am I writing more each week than I had before, but I also found that it has made me spend my time away from the keyboard thinking of what’s next, and planning it out. And Boy has it paid off!
This past week, I logged 7,101 words… that’s 46% higher than my goal of 5,000 words each week! I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am about this. Well, I can, as that’s exactly what I’m doing.
The best part about these words is that I feel really good about them. All writers will know what I’m talking about; we write down a lot of words, some of them are not as good and shiny as we would like, but we put them there as a place holder. We know that there will come a time when we work through our revisions and replace those garbage, place holder words for even better ones.
But I feel really good about these words. I’d say that about 90% of them are safe from any possible revision. We never seem to be able to hit 100% satisfaction with any of our words, let alone the first rough draft. I don’t know why that is.
We could spend forever editing and redrafting our books, changing the plot just a little, then a lot… swapping out characters, making new ones, adding and deleting scenes like we are some sort of time gods! And we’d never be truly happy. We could gut and replace every last syllable of our writing, thinking it might make it better, and it would leave us feeling the same way.
I remember that I got really sick and tired of my first book, Plod On, Sleepless Giant. I kept making changes and correcting things, questioning every little thing that I had on the page. I was just done. But I read somewhere that that is when you know your book is complete, when you can’t stand to even look at the thing any more.
I really didn’t understand how that worked. How could me getting to a point where I thought my own book was a turd meant that it was finally ready for public consumption? It sounded absolutely ridiculous, but I was ready to try anything. So I put my book out, and it seemed like people really enjoyed it… I guess they were right.
I don’t think it was because it was some ancient secret that could foretell when your writing was ready. While that would be awesome, it’s also the most unlikely thing. More so, I feel like the original person to give that advice was just giving us permission to just let things go. We aren’t perfectionists, even though we might hope that we someday can be.
So I learned to just accept my writing as is. I only give myself three revisions to agonize over; only three passes to torture myself, stress out over little things, and ask myself why do I even bother? Then I move on!
And the best part about hating the words you first wrote down, and I guess never really being happy with your end product, is that someday you’ll read it again. You’ll pick up a copy of your book, flipping through, and you’ll read those turd-words all over again. And you’ll think, damn… did I really write this? It’s really good!
Until next time: don’t be afraid of change. Change can be a good thing. I once read that our bodies regenerates all the cells in your body every 7 to 10 years, making all new cells… that means that we aren’t the same as we were back then. It’s kind of like we’re all Time Lords!