Killing Perfection | Preptober
What kills your dream of writing a book? Of finishing a first draft?
Fear of failure? Fear of not being "good enough"?
That "fear" you're feeling is crap. It's you making an excuse of why you can't do something... I know, because I used to do that. I ran from what I was born to do for a long time, I pursued a career down a path that would leave me empty, while still knowledgeable, it didn't fulfill me.
That "fear" constantly paralyzed me. The fear of not being a good writer, not knowing where to start or how to start a book... You know what? You just do. You dive in.
That feeling of "perfection" doesn't actually exist. There is no such thing as the "perfect" time to start writing a book, you start and make it happen when it's important to you. Remember that PERFECT - is your own personal standard.
Alright... Say it with me now.
That's your mantra for the month of NaNoWriMo or anytime you're working on a first draft. I hate to break it to you but your first draft is going to be a steaming pile of garbage... and you know what?
That is OKAY.
It just means you have something to work with, sure it's a mess, but there is something there to build off of.
I like to think of it as remodelling a house. I'm sure we have all watched an HGTV remodelling show from time to time... or a Sunday afternoon binge watch (It can't be just me that loves watching Chip and Joanna Gaines). The houses are dilapidated, taken apart, unkempt, and in need of some serious help - sure, most of them are livable, but why would you want mediocre, if you can have something more polished and beautiful. That's your book - the first draft is discovering this dilapidated house that you want to remodel - you find the house (complete a first draft) - now you can start the remodel, once you have that starting point.
If you've been reading the other posts in the Preptober series, you would have established a method of outlining that you prefer - I personally am a mixture of a "Plotter & Panster" - I use a light bullet point outline, and a basic idea for my main characters, setting and timeline and go from there. I allow the process to fuel me, learning & discovering, every time I sit down to write a chapter.
There is NO right way to outline. It's creative, it's raw, it's powerful... and most of all it's personal. Figure out what works for you, and allow that to be your method. Don't worry so much about all the information floating around - outlining the first draft is your own thing.
The first draft is ALL yours.
Don't share it, don't stress over it. Enjoy the process, like an artistic dance in the dark, the music taking over your body, the words fueling your mind, the movement the flow of words onto the page.
It's beautiful - the process is incredible, terrifying and harrowing. Just stick with it.
Allow the first draft to "just be".
Now, I'm not going to lie to you and say it's joyous like front row tickets to a Taylor Swift concert every time you sit down and write... in actuality it's about 50/50 for me. Some writing sessions suck.. but you know what I SHOW UP... the other sessions are what dreams are made of - that creative "high" you get when you write a scene that makes you laugh, recoil at your own sick and twisted brain or shed a few tears because of a scene you just wrote is EVERYTHING.
Just SHOW UP.
Make time for it, allow those bad days to roll off you like water on the rocks. The fact you may only write a few words or a few hundred or thousands - it doesn't matter, every time you show up - you are learning something about your process, your limits and building a habit.
You've got this and just remember -
PERFECT DOESN'T EXIST.
Just a sample - here are some of the edits for one of my garbage first drafts: