Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Making Mistakes and Writing.

I'm human and I make mistakes.

I know that this isn't ground shattering news, but for me, the perfectionist, it can be hard for me to swallow.

For instance, today I had a high school visit and left very early in the morning and I forgot to mention to my husband that my daughter had choir practice before school. While, once again, not earth shattering, but for my daughter, being late to practice was upsetting.

To top it off, when I got home from the the visit today, I realized I was supposed to post this blog on Sunday and had completely forgot.

I make mistakes. I've been sloshing through deadlines and sometimes I get caught up in whatever is in front of me at the time that I accidentally let something drop.

So what does this have to do with writing?

A lot actually.

Today, I told a group of high school students that they can't be afraid to make mistakes. That it is by pushing away our inner perfectionist that we discover our stories.

Before I wrote Pushing the Limits, I wrote 3 other manuscripts that were awful and completely flawed. In order for me to figure out how to write...in order for me to figure out how to craft a story, I had to be okay with not writing it perfectly.

More often than not, I learn more about my stories and my characters by not attempting to be perfect in my first drafts. As I told the students today, my cut files are typically larger than my stories. Sometimes the most interesting things I learn about my plot and characters comes from scenes that never make it in my book, but will forever be tucked away in a cut file.

So long story short--here is what I learned today:

1. Go over the calendar the night before hand with my husband when I'm going out town
2. Double check my writer's calendar every morning before I go on with my day.
3. Whenever I feel the urge to try to be perfect in my writing, let the urge go. In order for me to be a great writer, it's best to be okay to write things that will never make it into the finished product.


Kristin Lenz said...

I was hoping you were okay! Glad you were able to come through with a post, and thanks for saying what we all need to hear. I didn't realize you had written 3 other manuscripts before Pushing the Limits. That makes me feel so much better!

Anonymous said...

This is such good advice. I also struggle with wanting everything to be perfect, but we can't let it freeze us in place, we have to keep writing. Thanks, I really needed the reminder. Cheers, Brenda