Ignore the crap, Part 1

The first draft, you could say, is a war zone.  Spellings are butchered, grammatical structures are annihilated, and Plot cohesion?  It didn’t even show up to the battlefield.  Oh, and let’s not forget, it’s generally around that two-thirds mark that many writers give up on their writing during NaNo.

And it’s easy to brush it aside, but it’s hard to wholly give the Inner Editor the sack.  In fact, I would say Mr. Inner Editor might work better for the time as a guilt monkey.  Every time it says, “you can’t do this,” or “your grammar is falling into the abyss” just crank out a few thousand more words.

It works a lot better than just allowing it to destroy your motivation to write. Believe me, Inner Editors have incredible motivation-breaking powers.  Wars have been fought and lost by writers over grammar mistakes, plot cohesion and the ever dreaded, how am I even going to end this sucker, and what is up with this muddled mess that’s the middle of my Novel?  And let’s not even go into how far your current plot is from the one you were planning on writing.  The Inner Editor’s main mode of attack is on everything that’s wrong, and can possibly go wrong.

It doesn’t make you less of a writer, but ignoring the crap is part of winning the first draft battle.  The Editor can have its fun when, you know, you’re done with the draft.  That’s taking control of the first draft.  That’s winning the battle.

5 thoughts on “Ignore the crap, Part 1

  1. I like how to liken writing to a battle. It definitely elicits a smile from me, but I think it is completely true. Some times developing the will to even type a sentence, let alone a good sentence, takes more courage and determination than most people realize.

    I think that using your conscience of grammar mistakes to help push you through is admiring. Most times I find myself going over and over the same sentence until I can find it satisfactory. The way you are focusing on the end result and the story as a whole, struck me. In a way, it is almost more important for a writer to get the whole story down first and then go back to revise if time.


  2. I understand your problem. I believe that all writers, especially creative writers, face this problem. But I think the main key is getting the story and your ideas down first for your first draft. Then going back to correct your mistakes, remember that’s what revision is for. So I’ll just say get your story out first, then go back and correct you grammer mistakes and such.


  3. I’ve always been the writer that sits there, blankly staring at the empty page for long strains of time without ever making any apparent progress. And then when I do, I meticulously re-arrange and edit the sentence until perfect, then move on. Free write? Not happening. I never seem to have a rough draft. I would never be able to complete anything like this undertaking you are currently working on. But it makes me wonder, what do you feel this really does for you as a writer? Besides the rigorous schedule, that discipline that you can form against your natural tendency to listen to the inner critic, what do you feel this does for you?

    Do you think this type of writing deadline, that pushes you to write so much and so quickly help you in other ways? If so, in what ways? Because for me, I feel like it would totally ruin what I was going for. I almost feel like it’s a way to power write just another Walgreens-shelf-sitting-romance novel or something of the sort, you know? I feel like I need to spend time with every word that I write before I can move on.


  4. I really like how you described this subject and prescribed a way to combact the conflict. I don’t consider myself a prolific writer at all. I like to do it, but each time I try to create, my “inner editor” and “inner critic” shout at me: “You suck! You can’t write. You’ll never write! This is crap!”

    Thanks for offering a solution to this battle; and, thanks for reminding me I’m not alone in this struggle.


  5. Pingback: Shitty First Drafts « Blogging for the Wrimo in Distress

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