Sunday, July 28, 2013

Getting the Words on Paper

I plan to finish the first draft of my current project by the end of summer.

There. I said it. That makes it extra official, doesn't it?

This project has me super excited. But that first draft? It can be scary. Perfect example: I went to bed Friday feeling unsatisfied with the words I'd written that day, feeling more than my share of self-doubt. Tonight, on the other hand, I'm excited! I have new, fun ideas for the next scenes I'm writing, and things are starting to tie together--big picture things. You know that clarity that surfaces now and then when you just stick with it? I'm dipping into it now. Oo-la-la!

Of course, I have no idea how I'll be feeling two or three days from now. Writing a novel means getting stuck and unstuck more times than I can count, questioning myself, judging myself, encouraging myself. To me, it can mean feeling smart one day and like a poseur the next.

A couple years ago, Jesse Joshua Watson was on a panel at the SCBWI Western Washington conference, and he said (regarding our projects), "All we can do is our best at the time."

So simple, right? Yet I've been reminding myself of his words almost every day this summer because they give me strength or courage or whatever it is that helps me get the words down. Trying to write perfectly leaves me paralyzed. But I can do my best. And doing my best long enough can lead to something that makes me proud.

If you haven't been to Jesse Joshua Watson's blog, check out this post, The Problem in the Process. I love it. It's beautiful and true.