It is a daunting task to be complete master over your work. Both its creator and editor and in some ways, its ultimate judge. We are our worst critics and this goes to whatever we produce.
The trick? Don’t feed that voice too much, because it will keep you frozen and you won’t move forward. It makes you think avoiding doing anything is the best choice and to follow the herd instead of yourself.
But tell the mother *&%$&* to shut up! Do what you need to do. At the end of the day, there is always that process of editing, erasing, replacing words, lines, colours. If it isn’t quite right, because YOU think so, you can fix that (or recruit someone to help if needs be).
It’s tedious, but I like finding, removing, and replacing words in my book. It adds, it changes, it evolves as a result of this process. The same way a painter, a sketcher, or a knitter build in layers, so too must a writer.
First, it starts with creation. Get it on a page, good or bad. It may feel like shit at points, but it is better to work with something than nothing. Kind of like trying to make a baked potato, but without heat. You get it on a page and then you apply heat to cook in the form of editing, revising, rereading (out loud to test flow). You get feedback and you use it grow your book, mold it into the final product.
And today that is what I have been doing (despite a late start and seemingly complete disregard for my self-created schedule). I am apply some more heat to my book by finding new words (creating new details, sentences, etc), and removing words that don’t work or do what I need them to do. The words I remove are sometimes replaced which I have a lot of fun with (just don’t try and brainstorm with me or I’ll lose the thread!).
I have only gotten two chapters done in this stage of cooking today, but I’m hoping to get five more done before I gotta make dinner and do laundry (the fun stuff, right?). I had to add some content, because of one of the changes and I enjoyed it.
Got my tunes going, my bottle of water in reach, and fingers not yet tired from scrolling/typing!
Hope today is full of productivity (if you want it to be)!
I don’t sit there waiting for that perfect, beautiful sentence, because I know I’m going to sit there forever. So, as I tell students -start out by tripping, why don’t you? Then get up and fall over again. Just as long as you go. ~ Kathryn Harrison
P.S. New song find of the day on Spotify for me:
Down by the Water by Amy Macdonald