Don’t feed the critic

NaNoWriMo is done!

50,031 words in one month.

It has been interesting. After months of struggling with stories that I couldn’t get finished, I didn’t think I could write a complete 50K word draft.

I did.

November 1 came with almost nothing in mind for this story as I sat down to type.  No outline, no index cards, no spreadsheet, no GMC.

The knowns were the main characters and part of their history.

It turned out to be FUN to discover the story as it went along. More importantly, I learned a lot about writing without worry.

This draft didn’t have to be good. It only had to be at least 50,000 words.

What a concept, right?  Everyone has a bad first draft. I’d heard it, but didn’t understand it.

Because the craft books, blog posts, webinars, workshops, whatever, are all about getting it right.  The plot points must be present, the hooks must hook, the conflict must rise, whatever must be perfect.  After all, I only have three pages to grab the attention of the publisher.

But that is the desired result at the end of the process.

For me, the process wants to begin somewhere else entirely. And that place is messy and murky and filled with passive words, mixed tenses, a still undecided number of children, and delightfully un-descriptive settings.

This month I learned to shift my thinking from “this is wrong” to “this can be fixed.”

Next month the goal is to learn how to go about fixing.

It’s a process. Relax and don’t feed the critic.

 

 

Photo by Krista McPhee on Unsplash

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