Stuck? Move On.

Yesterday, I was struggling to make my #1kaday word count for In the Red.

At the beginning of every writing session, I have a habit of reading what I’ve written the previous day and editing my work and then moving on to write new material.

However, yesterday, it seemed as if I was rewriting and rewriting that opening chapter without really any improvement. Adding sentences and then deleting them. Not sure about certain names and character attributes. Hours were going by, and my word count remained essentially the same.

Finally, I just told myself: Move on.

I decided to work on a chapter that was very clear in my mind, one that was much further along in my story. Within an hour, I had a thousand words written and then some.

One of the perks of the blank page is that you can just write. Get it all down now and worry about perfecting later. I had to remind myself of that.

If this isn’t your process, if your words need to be just so before you can move on, that’s totally cool. But, for me, “bad writing is better than no writing,” as I like to say. And even though sometimes the writing’s really bad — cringe-worthy, even — I remind myself that first drafts aren’t supposed to be perfect. They’re just supposed to be.

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6 thoughts on “Stuck? Move On.

  1. Dina, I’m a big believer in the just-push-through it school of first drafts, absolutely. There are so many times when I hit that wall and I’ll just move to the next scene (maybe make a note, maybe not) because what I want in a first draft is to know I can flesh a story out, find its arc, etc–and of course, it’s end.

    Eventually you’ll have to revisit that scene but maybe by the time you do, it will either be easy to cut or easy to fix.

  2. Ugh I have had 9 months of that. I totally relate this post. It can be excruciating to get through. But sometimes it’s just a matter of being grateful to just write. It’s like what you said, sometimes bad writing is okay because at least we made the time to get words on paper.

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