Monday, January 17, 2011

New Year Encouragement

There are times when writing seems to come effortlessly. When you pound the keyboard, breathless, eager to see what comes out next, blood rushing through your veins. But how do you avoid getting stuck on days when it's not going so well?

One piece of advice I've found helpful is this: Don't edit on the first draft. It slows down your creativity, forces your thinking from your right brain to your left. The first draft is also called a "rough" draft for a reason. This is where the story comes to life; where you work out the characters and their knotty little personality issues (if you're lucky); where your imagination is supposed to soar.

This draft isn't going to be set in stone. Nor is it going to be pretty. This is where you just write and enjoy it.

Here are some ideas that help me:

*Don't fuss over whether or not its the exact right word. Write down a similar word or a comment that conveys the meaning you want, then move on. Come back and fix it during your edits.

*Find your inner editor and say, "Hey you--yeah, you, Mr. Critical. Shut up!!!" Critiquing yourself belongs in the editing stage, not the creative stage. This can be a toughie to master, but well worth it.

*Don't slow down or stop. Grab your bathroom break, drink, meal, or whatever as fast as you can. Or skip the breaks if at all possible.

*Don't look back at what you just wrote. This is an invitation to start critiquing. Keep looking forward, keep your brain moving to the next logical (or unlogical) step. Leave the editing and the grouchy left-brain stuff for the second, third, and however-many-more drafts you're going to have. Mr. Critical will have plenty of opportunities to show off, don't worry! :0)

Hope these ideas help your creative juices start flowing for the new year!

2 responses:

Galadriel said...

I agree

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up! I wish it was easier to make your inner editor shut up :D
--Laura Elizabeth
lauraeandrews.blogspot.com

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