- Must stop being diverted by my inner editor and learn to write a first draft without agonising over every little detail. I can fix those in the first big edit of the story once it’s all written. So (a) if I can’t think of the exact word I need, I should put something similar, then highlight it so I can come back to it later and (b) if I know I’m using a word or phrase too many times, I should ignore it in the first draft (and again highlight it for future editing)
- Must also stop being diverted by research, however interesting it might be. For example, how come I spent two hours on Google street view last weekend, when all I was looking for was the distance between two places? And why did I stop writing for ages to look for a surname for a minor character? Maybe I need to differentiate between research that’s important to the story, and insignificant details that I can sort out later.
- Must stop procrastinating and kidding myself that playing Pyramid solitaire is my ‘thinking time’. Instead, I should use the time visiting blogs, learning from other people (about their mistakes?), leaving comments and, hopefully, getting to know other writers (and readers). The latter, of course, is the ONLY reason I spend time on Facebook and Twitter (so now who am I kidding??)
- Must keep going even when I feel like I am writing through treacle or, as I read recently, carving granite with a teaspoon. Must remember that, with every story I’ve written, I’ve gone through the phase of ‘This story is rubbish, it’s going nowhere, no-one will ever want to read it.’ But I’ve carried on and eventually found myself thinking “Hmm, maybe it isn’t too bad after all” and even “Yeah, it’s turned out to be quite a good story after all.” It’s happened before, and it will happen again with the current WIP (I hope!).
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Messages to Myself
I could also have called this ‘Mistakes not to Make’ - so here goes: