Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG: The Beauty of Writing


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers whose purpose is to share with and encourage other writers. Writers can express doubts and concerns and offer & receive encouragement and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month.  

Many thanks to the co-hosts for November:  Tyrean Martinson,  Karen Walker,  Denise Covey,  and Stephen Tremp.   
 Be sure to check out other IWSG writers/bloggers here:  IWSG Members  

The Beauty of Writing:

You don't always have to get it right the first time!  What?  You're telling me I don't have to write my story perfectly the first time?  I get a second chance to get it right?  Maybe even a third chance?  Hallelujah!  One of the reasons my current w-i-p isn't ready to publish right now is because I'm a certifiable nut over errors.  I can't resist rereading lines, paragraphs, pages, even chapters, constantly correcting as I go.  I often spend more time in reverse than I do moving forward (well, not really, but it feels that way some days).


Sometimes, it's the small things that give us an unexpected wake-up call.  The other day (after a morning spent editing when I should have been writing), I came across these words of wisdom by Robert Cormier.  The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.  Well Duh! I know that but talk about a timely reminder coming when I sorely needed it.
  
At times, I lose the flow of my story because I can't resist the urge to fix errors as I go.  Mentally, I know I should just write the story . . . get it all on paper.  Corrections/changes are made during edits, right?  I know that.  And yet the urge to correct as I go is overwhelming - it's hard to resist fixing just one more little error, just like it's hard for smokers and drinkers to resist the next smoke or drink. (Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but you know what I mean.)  

The obvious answer for me is to continue writing my story and stop doing so much rereading.  There's a time for editing . . . after completing the first draft!  After all, the beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time!  In this profession, you do get a second chance!

Are you a "correct as you go" or a "wait until you're done" type writer?  






6 comments:

  1. Hi Sandra. I'm one of the co-hosts today stopping by to say hello. I'm glad you came across that advice because it's right on. Anne Lamott in "Bird by Bird" also said to allow yourself to write shitty first drafts. That freed me up so much. Good luck to you.

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    1. It's one thing to know it in your mind . . . and quite another to practice it! I'm working on it. Thanks for stopping by, Karen!

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  2. Learning how to turn off that internal editor is the toughest thing ever! I know how picky you are about that comma placement!

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  3. LOL! Yes, you do! I'm trying to let it go but I can't lie, it's a hard thing for me.

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  4. I always wait till I'm done, and then put it aside for awhile. My earliest drafts have gone up to ten years before serious edits and revisions, though I've also continuously worked on some of them over the years. Writing and editing use different parts of the brain, and they can't work at once for me.

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    1. I agree, Carrie-Anne. That's why I have to let go of my obsession with editing as I write . . . it continuously stops my creative process. Thanks for sharing what works for you!

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