You may recall a few days ago I wrote a piece about fear and writing. I promised myself and all of you a whole day before I would edit the post. The point? Well, that a first draft is rough and unfinished, that really that was my third attempt at writing the blog and I had simply discarded the first two. But I kept at it, Kept innovating, trying new ways to write. Eventually with time, patience and perseverance my blog came together and It has been one of my most successful blogs yet. So now a few days later I’ve returned to the post to give it an edit and polish it up. Here goes…..
Fear and time are
are our greatest enemies as writers. Time can be managed, it can be mastered, manipulated to make room in our lives for writing time. Fear however is often our unassailable master, it is the little voice in our heads that tells us we can not write, and that what we do write is absolute manure pile fodder rubbish, good only for the pulp pile. But T this is not true, first drafts are often full of errors, shaky dialogue and long winded plot commentary that goes no-where. That’s why we have the editing process, to allow us to polish off, and improve and work on our technique. Like all skills, the more we practise i.e the more we write, the better we become. Often it is the long break between writing and the first edit that allows you to gain clarity on plot development, story arches, tension within the novel, grammatical errors and character development. Don’t panic! Writing is meant to be a work in progress.
Writers often tie themselves in knots over plot development, narrative flow, character development and having too many, or too few ideas of where and how to take the story next. They spend so much time fretting over questions of whether a characters name should be
hyphonated hyphenated or if the character‘s speech is making thier their intent clear, that they forget to simply write words on the page. They get stuck in a holding pattern, unable to progress util until thier their burning quetion question has been resolved and unwilling to allow the resolution to occur through progress. It’s a personal thing, but for me I find it better to keep writing and move onto the next scene, or move onto the next chapter rather than waste wasting precioous precious writing time. Plot knots have to be addressed eith er either immediately or during the writers editing process, but if I’ve painted myself into a plot or character corner and can’t see a way round it, I move on and come back to it. Often while I’m writing, my brain is working on the problem unconsciously while I write and by the time I come back to it a solution presents itself. These of course are only two examples, but t The same rule applies with any writing crisis underpinned with fear of what is right? am I good enough? does this work? will anyone even read this? It should be battered over the head and served with eggs for breakfast.
So feel the fear and write it anyway!
One of my fears is under editing and posting items with mistakes. So my brave act for today is to post this blog without editing it (I have corrected mistypes) and I’ll come back to it tomorrow, reposting it after a nights sleep. The difference between the first post and the first edit will show for itself. This is my third attempt at this post already, so keep at it, keep writing, and remember to not make fear your master.
All words in the above post typed in bold have been inserted during this edit. All words with
strikethrough were included on the original post and have been edited out of the post. I hope this at least shows that even on the third attempt, writing can be changed, improved, edited. Never give up, never stop writing and believe in yourself. Writing is a joy at worse, a divine expression at best and lots of fun the rest of the time.
Happy writing all!