What made me think that just because I loved a topic I could build an actual story around it? (I mean, hello, you still need a plot.)
When am I going to accept that sometimes I just have to go along for the ride and see where it takes me? (Probably never.)
How many different ways can I pretend to start the book thereby postponing going on past the first page. (At last count, 11.)
How many times can I put the mom in, take her out, put back in again and then take her out for good? (At last count, 4.)
How important is it, really, to know what the book is about before I try to write it? (Not very, I hope.)
Why can’t I find a dirty stinky smelly old sock to stuff in my inner editor’s mouth when I am trying to write the crummy first draft? (That’s what I get for being caught-up on laundry.)
Why does it feel like my crummy first draft is the worst crummy first draft in the entire history of crummy first drafts? (Because right now, at this moment, it is.)
Why can’t I ever remember that crummy first drafts are called crummy first drafts for a reason?
Susan, wow your inner editor would love to meet my inner editor. That’s it, let’s get them together and out of our heads. Send them on an Arctic cruise maybe? I’m not sure the smelly sock would work, though if it did, go for it. But sending them off to be nasty together? And we can go off and get something done….
Oh yes, let’s send them on a freezing, snowy windblowing you’ll never get warm again Arctic cruise.
I just need to learn to get out of my own way and I have forgotten how to do that. I’ve forgotten how to let go of the crud on the page and keep moving past.
I’d say I’ve forgotten how to trust myself but then trusting myself has never been at the top of my core competencies.
Trust yourself. I mean it. We trust you.
I’m trying to but man, it is slow going. Walking uphill in quicksand.
I just tossed everything I have written this weekend into the attic and went back to the first scene I fell in love with and am calling that the beginning.
Our crummy first drafts just might be neck-in-neck.
It is SO hard, isn’t it?
You can’t have the worst crummy first draft in the history of crummy first drafts because that’s mine, I tell you, mine! 🙂 lol. You can have the second 🙂 Sending you good rediscovering the trust the process vibes.
LOL. I don’t want a crummy draft. I want every word that moves from my fingertips to the screen to be beautiful golden words.
Sigh. I know better, really I do. And thanks.
I think part of it may be that you had that big three-day chunk of time to write about this character, for the first time, right? Boy, do we set our expectations high for times like that, even when we know better. Little bits is still progress, and I know you’re processing all sorts of stuff. Write and see what comes.
Oh yes, I am sure that is a big part of it. I need to not think so much but that’s always a problem for me.
Wow. I could’ve written this. May we both come out victorious!
Good luck to you.
Trufax: I have to read the “Shitty First Drafts” chapter of Bird By Bird every time I start something new. I always think I’ve internalized it, and then I’m sitting there on page 4 freaking out and I have to go ask Anne Lamott to put my freak out in perspective, yet again.
Also, if you happen to find a pair of stinky socks, may I use the second one on my inner editor? Because she’s a cranky one.
I feel bad that so many other people go through the same thing but I am SO GLAD so many other people go through the same thing, you know?
Will do on the stinky socks.
Bird by bird, my friend. Bird by bird…
Ain’t that the truth? Though lately it feels like feather by feather.
Kill by quill?
Hugs! I know you’ll turn that crummy first draft right around into an awesome final draft!
I hope so. I spent some time thinking about it last night and realized that, aside from Hugging the Rock, all the finished first drafts of anything in the last, oh, 10 years, have been picture books.
Um, so why don’t you write a scene that is in the middle of this crummy first draft? That’s what I did. Then suddenly I had somewhere to go with my beginning, not from writing the scene, but for some reason the book decided to be a story then. You know, since I had to connect all that stuff in the middle scene.
Funny you should say that. I was laying awake last night not able to sleep because I was thinking about how totally stopped I was which was making me more stopped which was making me feel less and less like a writer, I thought, well, how can I use what I did with Hugging the Rock to get through this?
With Hugging the Rock I started playing with poems. With Plant Kid is has always been scenes so I am going back to that. As much as I would like to have a crappy first 50 pages to give to my critique group to tell me that I am on the right path, I know that getting the scenes down will help me get more connected to the story. Get enough of them, maybe something will spark.
So thanks for suggesting this because it helps convince me. 🙂
Here’s what happens to me:
I write and then don’t want to write the next scene because A) I have a scene from further in the book calling me and I’m trying to wait or B) the scene bores me to tears.
Sometimes I ignore these warnings and force myself to write a super crappy scene. Other times I do what I never learn is the right thing to do and skip to the scene that wants to be written. Every time I’ve done this (skipped) by the time I get back to the earlier, boring scene, I have a new idea for it that popped up while I was writing the other scene. There was a reason for needing to skip, but like I said, I never learn. *sigh*