Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Just Write

Back to the general writing topics. Yesterday I had a slight distraction in writing. Every now and then I let worries get ahead of the story because I am a planner in everything except for the novel plots. So, last night I was thinking about the novel I've been rewriting, the YA one. I thought this first book was young adult but now I'm having doubts. But I can't worry about it now because I have three chapters left to rewrite. Then I edit and I'll worry about it then. Right now, I need to Write.

It's so easy to worry about things when it comes to novels. Are the characters likable? Do they have enough character to them to be interesting? Is this novel going to fit in a trend? Will it just miss the boat? (Sorry vampire writers. Things might be on hold for a little but it will come back.) What about content? Will an agent/editor/almighty person say the story has to be changed completely in order for it to be published? Is this a young adult novel? What counts as middle grade? Which genre is this novel? What if I write 15 different genres? and so many more...

But worrying, as I once heard on a movie, is like a rocking chair. It's something to do but it won't get you very far. In fact, it may cause the dreaded pre-written fear that will keep many from ever finishing their story. Which is why I promote one main rule of writing when it comes to first drafts:

Just Write.

That and guess what. First drafts are allowed to suck. And second drafts aren't going to be perfect either. Shocking, I know. I thought the draft I was writing was publishable as is... hahahahahaha. Yeah, no. I know this second draft needs work but I can't work on it if it's not done. So, I have three chapters to write. I'll end here cause that is what I should be doing. I should be writing (and maybe listening to the awesome podcast, I Should Be Writing).


Angeline said...

I'm a total worrier. I worry about everything. If I have nothing to worry about I worry that I've forgotten something I should be worrying about! Interestingly enough, I also have a rocking cair in my office!

Cheree said...

Perfect motto, just write. That's what I allow myself to do. I would rather get the story out and then worry about the characters or the setting, I know I'll have to go back and pad out my words any way.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

A writer who does not write is just a dangling letter r, and perhaps not a good one at that. Writing and rewriting are the only ways to ensure the life expectancy of a novel.

TL Conway said...

:) I just read Jeffrey Beesler's comment and had to chuckle. I've never thought of it like that, but he's "write." (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

I can go through all the motions of being a Writer, but I never seem to find enough time to actually DO it!

Laura Josephsen said...

Oh, yes, I know what it's like to have these questions run through my mind. But all you can do is keep moving forward. I like the rocking chair saying--it's so very true.

M.J. Fifield said...

Just Write is a great motto to have. I try to live by those words too. Some days, I'm more successful at it than others.

Sarah Allan said...

Great "J" post, Dawn. That's something I always have to remind myself of as well... Just get it down and write it. Worry about genre and everything else later, but tell the story as it appears to you now. Thank you for the reminder...I need to do more "just writing." :-)

Stephanie said...

Such great advice!!!! People often ask me how I'm able to write a first draft relatively quickly (usually in 2-3 months). It's because I just write. I do not edit while I am in active creating mode. I don't even read over what I've written, except for when I first sit down to write- I will read the last scene over so I get a feel for where I left off. I give myself a 1000 word goal for each day and most days I make it and surpass it, others I don't make it or I don't even write at all...but at the end of the month, I almost always have added 30,000+ words.

wishing you lots of luck!! :)

Susan Kane said...

Great advice. As yet, my mind hasn't frozen up like a car battery in winter Minnesota, just like a clogged drain. But, I write anyway, and don't care if the piece sucks.

Dawn Embers said...

Angeline - I worry way too much too. Wish I had a rocking chair, they are nice to have.

Cheree - Thanks. It's good you allow yourself to just write.

Jeffrey Beesler - Interesting. A dangling "r"? hmmm

TL Conway - lol. ah the motions, I hope you are able to turn them into action soon and not just the motion of it.

Laura Josephsen - True. We just have to keep moving forward.

M.J. Fifield - Same here, same days are more successful than others.

Sarah Allan - Thanks. It seems simple but I'm sure most of us need the reminder every now and then.

Stephanie - Glad you liked it. I've done a few quickly as well and it seems amazing but it's from just writing. Sounds like you are doing well.

Susan Kane - That's good. Keep on writing!