Ploughing through the first draft
Writing is a constant struggle for me (sometimes I’m too busy, sometimes I’m not in the creative mood- honestly I have a whole ream of excuses) and as a terrible perfectionist, even getting a few words on the page can be so difficult. I’m sure a lot of you understand this, but one of my main writing goals is just to finish one draft (my inner editor likes to scream at me whilst I’m writing).
There are a couple tips I want to talk about but number 1 is a piece of advice I have been seeing a lot for the last year or so.
“Every first draft is perfect because all a first draft has to do is exist”
I don’t know why, but this just hit different and I realized- the only way to stop criticizing my work so much was to keep writing and not look back. As I work through my current story, I am constantly looking for ways to quieten the little voice inside my head and just allow myself to suck. Some of the ways I do this are by darkening my screen or making the font white (you should try it- it’s so freeing to make mistakes and make yourself leave them and keep writing).
I also absolutely love scene sprinting– I mean, sprinting can be absolute hell (frantic, chaotic, absolutely rubbish ?) but it’s so great for making yourself keep writing and not look back. I am the worst for editing as I go along, and since I have started to work on that, I get through chapters so much quicker (and much less painfully ?).
Just realizing that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect meant I could start to have fun writing, instead of constantly inspecting for errors or awkward prose.
“If you write a strong character, let them feel. If you write a broken-hearted victim, let them smile again”
This quote sums up perfectly the idea that the most important part of a story is contrast– this not only helps to develop and flesh out characters, but also to avoid stereotypes. Whenever I write, I think about how I can make my characters more real and human, and this is a major way to do that.
Imposter syndrome and confidence
“Write what you’re afraid to write. Write like no one’s watching”
This is one of the most beautiful writing quotes I’ve read and it’s gorgeous. Sometimes, I completely second-guess my writing and I’m pretty sure a lot of authors do this– remember, above anyone, we write for ourselves– to “be more ourselves” and to feel. And this actually applies to pretty much anything, not just writing; move past the fear and create for yourself.
And a great one that links into this and that applies to literally anything:
“it’s a short life. There’s no reason not to go after what sets your soul on fire”.
And I’ll leave you with one of the most beautiful quotes that perfectly sums up why I (and probably most writers) write:
“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves”Aldous Huxley
Do you agree with this writing advice? Is there any advice you stick by when it comes to writing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or you can connect with me directly on any of my social medias.