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Beating my head against the wall


Seems appropriate for this topic . . .

I had a short conversation with another author this morning which prompted this post - why are first drafts so difficult to write? Second drafts and editing seem to go so easy comparatively. But why?

I've thought long and hard about this -- especially when writing yet one more first draft (like I am now). It's like pulling teeth. Without Novocaine. On the best of days the words come easy, you know where you're going and you just . . . write. Other times, the pulling teeth times, you KNOW where you're going, you're just not sure the best route to get there and you just . . . stare at the blank screen.

I think part of it is that creatives, no matter what our particular media may be, are secretly (or not so much) perfectionists. If they don't impress themselves with every word, brush stroke, pencil line, whatever, how is anyone else going to be impressed? I get that. Believe me, I get that.

I know I'll be able to edit out the rough parts when I go back and re-read and revise. I'll think through something that just doesn't sound right and tweak it to sound more like it seemed in my head. But it has to be put down first. The hardest part is just starting.

It's hard because the inner critic comes out. Are you SURE you want to go there? Are you SURE that's the right word? Are you Positive that's not going to annoy your readers? That little voice is hard to ignore. It's almost impossible. I'm still training myself to push that aside and just get words down. Get 'em down, and the rest is going to go smoothly.

All this is leading to what I'm working with on this current WIP -- it's hard, once I sit down, to get into the flow of the story again -- and then I get stuck. I'm primarily a pantser type of writer -- I have a very rough framework of where I want the story to go, but then I make it up as I go along. It can be very rewarding but frequently frustrating. I'm trying to be more of a plotter -- but that doesn't come naturally to me. Go figure.

So back to the earlier conversation . . . it's funny how writing is a solitary thing, but all writers go through the same struggles, no matter what kind of writer they are.

First drafts are many things, but one thing they will never be is finished. LOL.

Speaking of writing, I have an earnest request -- if you've ever read any of my work, please consider leaving a review if you haven't already. Reviews help in many ways and they make this writer very happy . . .

That's all from me for now . . . until next time . . .

Terry


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