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Monday, March 2, 2009

Writing Through ~ Progress Report

I've had a terrific day! I'm feeling optimistic about the future of my writing for the first time in a good while. Here's why. I followed the suggestions of my fellow bloggers, Taryn, Teresa, and Magdalena, and successfully shut out the nagging of my internal editor and simply wrote today. Yay! It felt good. Although, I do admit there were a couple of times when my old fear--of getting too much on the page that would have to be fixed later--reared its head. I ignored it and moved on and just kept writing.

When I called it quits for the day, I checked my word count, then did the math and discovered I'd written just shy of 4,000 words. So, I went ahead and wrote a couple more lines to reach that 4K mark. I worked through one entire chapter and started on the next. I'm still amazed and excited about what I accomplished.

I'm not naive enough to think I can keep up this pace every day. There are other things that demand attention, like the family and home. But I know now that it's possible for me to get on with it at a much speedier pace than I've been going--if I just do it. And if I do occasionally have a day ( like today) I can devote almost entirely to writing, then cha-ching!

I promised to list the pros and cons I found to this method, so here they are.

Con = all the pages I wrote today are very rough, even rudimentary in places. I would never let anyone see, much less read them.

Con = when I finish the manuscript, it will take a great deal of time to revise and polish to my satisfaction.

Pro = I'm getting the story down on the page very quickly and not agonizing over details.

Pro = If I decide to change a section I've already written, it's no big deal to delete and rewrite because at this stage I haven't spent endless hours working on it.

Pro = Even though I'll end up with a very rough first draft, how much easier and faster is it to go back and fix something that's already written than to sit and stare at a blank page? We all know the answer to that one. ;o)

Pro = I found that my thoughts flow much more smoothly than when I stop for 15 minutes or 2 hours to figure out the exact right word choice and so on that my very high-strung I.E. has always demanded up til now.

As you can see, the pros outnumber the cons, which actually surprises me. To be perfectly honest, I figured I would fight this tooth and nail. It's always hard to break the cycle of years and years of habit. But I found out today that I can do it!

In closing let me just say, "It's true, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and an old dog can learn new tricks." And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go do a happy dance with my little yellow friend.

Rave Girl Dancing



  1. Congratulations! Maybe I need to find that closet and shove my ie in for a while. Sounds like it worked for you!

  2. Hey Magdalena, thanks! :o)

    Jennifer, yes, I recommend trying it--at least for a day, just to see what you end up with. My fear of ending up with 400 pages of crapola is still very much in place. But my common sense is doing battle with the fear and telling me that fixing and polishing 400 pages has GOT to go faster and be easier than sitting here agonizing over every paragraph as I write it.

  3. Oh Congrats, Devon! That's the best news I've heard all day.

    Just like with me and NaNo- it took me challenging myself to something I thought I couldn't possibly do to discover something about myself I didn't think I was capable of. Woohoo!

    You go girl! I'm proud of you and I'm so glad that the pros outweighed the cons.

  4. Thanks, Taryn! This is all your fault you know. I've always wished I could write faster like most everyone else. I mean, there's NO ONE who writes slower than I do. Then, yesterday, when you posted that comment, it just hit me. Why not?

    One of the things I forgot to mention in my previous post, when I talked about soaking up all the craft of writing as a newbie, was that the people who were giving the lessons always said not to worry about the first draft. Just write it! Looking back, I must've blocked out that lesson.

    Thanks again for all the encouragement you've given me! Hope the revisions are going well. :o)

  5. Devon:
    You didn't count your blog in your word count so you actually wrote more than that 4000. Wish I could say the same. Life exploded around me and I couldn't write anything today, but the night isn't over yet so I'm going to try before going to sleep.

    I'm sooooo proud of you!!!
    Teresa R.

  6. Thanks, Teresa! The only other time I've written that many words was when I wrote the entire skeleton for Tame a Wild Heart in a day's time.

    I'm sorry you're not getting as much writing time as you'd like. I know it's frustrating. How many years did you say you have to go til you can retire? ;o)

    Hope all is well at home.


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