Friday, May 27, 2016

Perfection's Over-rated

So how, exactly does one have fun with quotes?
Glad you asked! If you’re like me, you start by exchanging quotes on a daily basis with your best bud. But not just any quotes, writing quotes, to give each other inspiration. And then you pick the two best quotes of the week to share with the rest of the world - because ... why not? :-D

The quote from Jamie this week is short and sweet:

If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.
—Margaret Atwood

Ain’t that the truth? Maybe you’re waiting for the perfect story idea. Or maybe you’re waiting for the perfect circumstances. Or maybe you’re even waiting for the perfect words to flow onto the page. Well cut it out!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my years as a writer, waiting for perfection won’t get your story written. And to be perfectly honest, nobody, and nothing, is perfect. How boring would that be if it were?

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take care with your work and strive to make it as perfect as possible, especially if you self-publish, but leave that for the second draft. Don’t get caught up waiting for the perfect set of circumstances in which to write. What sets writers apart from non-writers is that they write.

My own quote for the week once again goes with Jamie’s:

The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper. You must not edit until you get it all on paper. If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness, you'll do yourself a service.
― Stephen Sondheim

Nobody writes a perfect first draft, not Margaret Atwood, not Stephen Sondheim, not J.R.R. Tolkein, not William Shakespeare, not Stephen King, not anybody. So really, what’s the point of constantly backtracking and editing during the creative process? You’re only going to be making changes to the next draft anyway. Why waste the time and energy now? Just get ‘er done.

This is kind of the philosophy behind NaNoWriMo. You apply BIC (butt in chair) and start writing without looking back. Of course with NaNo you’re trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, but the method is sound.

When you constantly edit as you write it’s all too easy to turn into the writer zombie that we talked about last week. You spend more time going over and changing what you’ve written instead of moving your story forward.

So that first draft has a few plot holes and flaws. So what? Nobody’s perfect.

No comments: