A wise man once said that if you want to be a writer then you need to act and think like a writer. So the first step for me is to start writing more. Even bullshit blogs full of grammar and spelling errors counts in my eyes. There is a reason that I named this “First Draft Thoughts.” Not a lot of editing going on here.
Every year there is this community event called NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month http://www.nanowrimo.org/ . It’s one month out of the year where they encourage everyone to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I have mixed feelings on this. On the surface I think it’s a really cool idea to encourage people to write more and express their creativity. However, what ends up happening is I get a facebook/twitter feed full of “Wrote 350 words today…” That’s the part that I seem to have the biggest issue with.
Word count is important and I understand that you need to do it or it’s never going to happen. It’s something I’m kicking myself on a nearly daily basis about. But, I have to wonder about the numbers. It seems that more people are obsessed with the numbers than they are with the content. I could be (and most likely am) completely wrong about this, and that’s just how I see it on the surface, but it does get me thinking.
Is it better to write 500 so/so words or write 50 great words.
My problem is that I want to edit as I go and I want it to be perfect the first time. I do a lot of editing in my head when inspiration strikes. I spend a lot of time thinking about the idea before actually putting the pen to paper. (Yes, that is a nice of way justifying my not actually writing any ideas down.)
In other aspects of my life I have accepted my flaws and limitations. I play guitar, but I also understand that I was not meant to be a lead guitarist, I’m much happier just banging away on chords and let someone else play the crazy leads. With a lot of what I do Good Enough simply is good enough. But with the writing it’s different. It has to be perfect, maybe it’s a more personal thing, it’s more of my heart and soul being poured out. I get discouraged if I sit there and write out those 500 words and they aren’t the perfect words.
I still have my goal for 2013. My goal for 2013 is to actually write and complete a story. Preferably it’s a story that is longer than 5 pages. I’m not trying to set the world on fire with my amazing prose or skill, but I would like to do it for myself to prove that I can do it. Like most things, once you have that first one out of the way, you’ve done it. I will have conquered the first hurdle. Everything else will be easier, because I’ve already done it.
I need to start thinking like a writer. If this was my job, I’d have fired me by now. If I want to be a writer, then guess what I need to do. I need to write. Or else I’m just a ~er and not a writer.
So there we have it, just giving myself a pep talk and getting out of my brain and out into the ether. Because once it’s on the internet it never really goes away, it’s even more permanent than being carved in stone. Hold me to it Internet. I need someone to keep me on track.
Maybe I need to actually do the NaNoWriMo thing, but I need it before November.