Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I've got the first-book-draft blues

10348 / 50000 words. 21% done!

Neither computer problems nor writer's block, nor essays nor a busy schedule will keep me from getting my wordcount done for the day! And look at that, I'm almost at 25%. Pop out the champagne!

. . . okay, not really. I mean, I do have a good wordcount for the point I'm at in the novel (mid-Chapter Four) but I'm struggling with what all writers struggle with: insecurity about their own abilities. The problem with a job that involves being so much in your own head all the time is that you lost perspective on your work too easily. It's not a team job, like architecture- unless you're co-writing, there's no sharing of the workload, so a) it's all on you, and b) IT'S ALL ON YOU. Ergo, if you make a mistake, you generally have to figure out how to fix it by yourself. (I actually have co-written in the past, and the creative sharing of ideas is loads of fun, even if you must occasionally resist the urge to throttle your co-writer.) And of course, writing is a relatively subjective endeavour, so it's not like "the roof caved in! Clearly we did something wrong!" Something can feel wrong, but after being wrapped up in the project for weeks on end, it's hard to put your finger on why it doesn't feel right. (I almost typed "write" there. God, I'm tired.)

The thing that's most important to keep in mind, I think, is the fact that it's a first draft. You just have to keep chanting first draft, first draft, first draft in order to keep yourself from losing it and running naked up and down the freeway screaming about bears. Not that I'm there yet. Mostly.

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