|Coming Summer 2012|
I've been working very hard since January to write the first draft of Afterlife. As his surgery date got closer and closer, my panic over finishing this draft grew and grew and grew. I had it in my mind that I could easily print out the draft, edit by hand, and still get plenty of work done while he recovered.
In the last two weeks, I've written over 25,000 words. I'm close to finishing, but not totally done. I know, you're thinking that's a lot of words in a short amount of time. Totally true - but that doesn't mean they're great words.
|My ratty, yellowed copy of Bird by Bird|
The concept? Get the words out. They don't have to be pretty, but without that first draft there's nothing to edit.
"The first draft is the child's draft, where you let it all pour out and then let it romp all over the place, knowing that no one is going to see it and that you can shape it later. You just let this childlike part of you channel whatever voices and visions come through and onto the page." -Anne Lamott
Finally, I was free to write. Instead of agonizing over word choice, I give myself fully to the story during the first draft. Not only do I enjoy writing more, but I feel like I'm able to let the muse speak rather than forcing my characters into situations just for the sake of following an outline. Now I consider my first draft a really long, ugly summary. A severe round of editing comes next.
Instead of fretting over taking an entire week off of work, I'll be cuddling on the couch with my little man. He'll have his game remote in his hands; I'll have my first rough draft, a highlighter, a pen, note cards, sticky notes, Sleepers (for cross-referencing), and a thesaurus in my hands. It's a good thing I have eight arms. ;)
So, thank you, Anne Lamott. You spoke so lovingly about your son all those years ago. I was an unmarried girl, unsure of my future, but absorbing every beautiful nugget I could glean from you. Who knew that one day your advice would enable me to write while being the best mom I can be to my son? <3
Megg, Miss Enchanted ePubber