Remember it’s the first draft.

This should be my mantra, currently, as my WIP is over 58,000 words and I’m suffering with fluctuating emotions.
I read a wonderful quote on Twitter – I forget from who, but if it’s you, please let me know – that reads, “a novel is not written, but rewritten”- repeat after me….
It is so easy to forget, as one ploughs along, writing from the brain and heart. As has been mentioned by numerous people, it’s easier to edit words that are on the page/screen, than have no words to edit at all.

I have to periodically remind myself, that to get  Attic of the Mind  to the standard I felt worthy of sending out, it took five rewrites, plus a final polishing. Hence, I should realise that my current WIP is a long way from being the polished article I would be happy to send out.

There is a tendency to believe that others around one are writing better – faster – more wisely than oneself, but we all have moments of word-freeze and self-doubt – it goes with the territory. Far better to remember that everyone has to work and rework a story before it becomes the novel worthy of belief.

Sometimes, it is wise to let the words flow, regardless of their ugliness or redundancy. The more one reads and writes, the more the mind will register relevant words and ideas that will produce the rich text that forms the intricate plot line.

Never give up – the first draft is what it is – the first draft.

Happy Word Flow One & All

How to cope with those moments of self-doubt.

Let’s be honest, we are all plagued with moments of self-doubt and despair in our ability to become a published author; or in our ability to create the perfect writing to hook an agent or publisher. I understand that even agented and published authors continue to suffer such afflictions, hence I know I’ve chosen a path that will be littered with a plethora of self-destructive potholes.

When I am struck by the negativity beast, I have a few options that invariably help to ease the emotional pain. It goes without saying that chocolate should be added to each option – ranging from the milk variety to the decadent (and so when most needed) Green & Black and Lindt a touch of sea salt (serious stuff indeed).

1) I read uplifting and inspirational tweets, blogs or articles written by people such as @Fictionnotes, @jammer0501, @Clipso1, @johannaharness and @dirtywhitecandy – to name but a few people on Twitter that I follow – I also  follow many other fabulous people, too many to mention, so please don’t be offended if you aren’t personally mentioned – I appreciate you too.

2) I read a novel in my chosen genre which will either re-light my fire (thank you Take That) or, more detrimentally , will make me believe that my writing is so dire, no wonder I’m unagented.

3) Listen to some music through headphones so that I’m totally absorbed by the notes. I will play anything from classical to rock )Bach and Green Day feature heavily on my ipod).

4) Tweet a fellow writer, or the writing arena en general – i do like #amwriting, again on Twitter – as the collective will understand what I’m experiencing and will send words of comfort and encouragement.

5) Cook a sumptuous meal for my family (thank you Nigella).

6) Sometimes I find that a Moscow Mule helps the juices to flow, or at least partially numb my senses to the awareness of my lack of self-worth. However, this isn’t an option for early morning writer blues.

7) If all else fails, I put the demon thoughts to one side with my WIP and decide to leave any writing for the following day. Personally, I tend to wake up feeling positive and invigorated, and so I will find myself in the right frame of mind to allow the words to flow freely.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing such crushing writer lows – so come on folks – tell me what you do so I can add them to my list, so that the next time (oh yes, there will be a next time)  I will have other options to soothe my emotions.

Happy Word Flow One & All