Monday, September 23, 2013

Don't Think About What You're Writing

Don't think about what you're writing while you're writing it.

Say "whaaaat?"

At the moment, I am majorly stuck on one of my chapters in my WIP. I can't even count how many horrible weeks I've just brought up the document, stared, and then walked away - which is something I've preached vehemently against in past blog posts.

I think my discouragement and writer's block is floating into other parts of my life as well. One being this blog; it's taken me all week to come up with a subject for this week's post. So, instead of thinking of a great, stirring post that will captivate readers, I'm just going to give a little bit of advice that I'm trying to use myself: Don't think about what you're writing while you're writing it.

No, I don't mean write willy-nilly (yes, I use that phrase, what of it?) anything and everything whether it adds to the story or not (or if it's even part of the SAME story). Consideration must still be present. However, we can get hung up on one scene. Even if we know what's going to come after it, it's as if a crucial part of the bridge hasn't arrived and we have to wait for it to be imported from a country millions of miles away. We can't move on until that one scene is perfect, and nothing else matters until it is completed.

Take a deep breath...and then chuck that idea out the window onto the street and hope a truck will run over and smash it into the ground. I'm obviously referring to first drafts here, and so you know what? The most important part of a first draft isn't necessarily the quality, preciseness, and beautifully crafted sentences - it's about getting your ideas on paper, no matter how mashed and messed up they may be. There's a beautifully little tool called "editing" used for filling in those details later.

So instead of pouring 50 cups of coffee down your throat and suffering from headaches and bleary eyes, just don't "pay attention" to what you write. Write some (excuse my language) total crap, or make a note to come back to that scene and fill it in later (provided you have another following scene you know where to head with). Write with your eyes closed, and don't think about it.


  1. Oh. Bleh. I am so bad at this. xP I've often been complimented on my meticulous first drafts, but it's really probably a fault rather than a strength. I'm in a bit of a tough spot, though, because I'm working not on my first draft but on my second. But since I'm completely paving over everything I wrote originally, it's a first draft within a second draft. I hate and love it. And my hardest time with it is when people ask me what draft I'm on, or when I read advice about first drafts and think "does that really apply to me?" What do you think? :P

    (By the way, I replied to your comment on my blog, just in case you don't see it. Sorry it took me so long! I haven't been checking it much.)

  2. Don't worry - every writer has their own special technique with the first drafts! I personally want to get everything right the first time, make sure everything links together at the end, ect ect, but on the flipside, if I do that, I often find myself getting stuck. The main thing you just want to look out for is 1) making sure you don't lose any of those thoughts for the story already in your head, and 2) not getting so hung up on one part that you become discouraged and maybe even quit. Again, whatever works for you and gives you the most inspiration to keep going is of course the best way :)

    (I just saw it, thank you so much! :D )

  3. I've had those times and I agree. Sometimes you just need to push through it and come back. I had to do that a lot in a recent draft, but editing is a wonderful thing. :)

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