Nano is occurring! I can’t believe it’s Nanowrimo again! It’s day 11, I’ve just passed 30k, and right on cue, I’m getting creeping doubts. What if I’ve written too many dialogue-heavy scenes? All my crazy cats seem to be doing is talk-talk-talking.
What if there’s too much info-dumping? What if my inciting incident isn’t kicking in fast enough? I mean, the proverbial poop is most certainly about to hit the fan, and the 50% mark onwards is just BAM BAM BAM with exciting things… but what if the first half is a big old steaming turd? So here is my pep-talk! It’s mostly for myself, but if you’re participating in Nanowrimo, or writing something new, maybe this can help you too. So let’s get to it.
So, to answer my question: what if what I’m writing sucks?
*clears throat* RIGHT NOW IT DOESN’T MATTER!
First drafts are about dumping the sand into the sandbox. Second drafts are about making the castles. I must fight the urge to go back and tinker. I must. And if you’re doing Nanowrimo, you must too.
Repeat after me: the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.
The first draft is the writer telling herself the story.
The first draft has to exist before the shiny final draft can exist.
The first draft is supposed to be emotional for the writer, so all this crazy-ass mood swinging is completely fine, and, indeed, to be expected.
Don’t trust your judgement just yet. Get your head down and get those words out of you. Write wildly. Write ambitiously. Take risks, and pull every last word from your heart, and mean it. Write something real.
Don’t think about what might sell, or what might be popular. Write the story that only you can write. Rejoice in your weirdness, it’s what will make you stand out from the crowd.
Make your characters flawed, and human. Give them something they want more than anything in the world. Then make it almost impossible for them to reach. Make them fight for it, like we writers have to write for our word counts every single session.
Good things come to those who work hard. Don’t buy into this waiting crap. Work hard. Now. Just Do The Thing.
So go forth: write your heart out. The world feels a little darker now, and a lot more uncertain. But whatever this might mean for the future, always remember that nothing can change your stories. Nothing can change who you are, and what you believe in.
Write something that matters. Write to bring some light into this world, lord knows we need it.
Tell the world your story, because, in the end, you’re the only person on this planet who can.
(my Nanowrimo week one vlog)