First Draft Blues

Not every word needs to be a gem. Not in the first draft anyway. So why is it so hard to get the words on the page? I’ve got I’m-thinking-way-too-far-ahead-itis and it’s getting in the way of the writing.

I know exactly how I want my project to turn out, so I keep trying to get the work to a finished level on the first try. And I need to stop. I know if I keep on this road, I’m not going to even want to put fingers to keys and I’ll stop writing altogether.

Putting the words on the page was easy to do when I was writing NaNoWriMo. My self-editor was banished to the outer limits and I happily typed away at my story. Nothing was really at stake. I knew my NaNo story was unlikely to have a life after the month was over.

But this current project is different. I’m excited about it. I think about it every day. It’s consuming all my spare thinking time—well, what little there is among the holiday planning, finishing my teaching chores for the semester, and family. I have a goal to have it published by spring and I know it’s doable. (Yes, I’m self-publishing, but that’s another story.) In other words, this time I really care.

Okay. Enough. Right now, I’m giving myself a good mental kick in the pants to forget perfection and just get the words on the page. I’d love to hear your strategies or “been there, done thats” because I know what’s next is not going to be easy. But for now–

Kick. Ouch! Onward.

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