Friday, September 17, 2010

Thank You, Mr. Hemingway

Several times this past week, I've seriously regretted letting anyone know I was attempting to write a novel.

What was I thinking?

Why did I go public with this dream of mine?

To be perfectly honest, the scenes I've been writing lately have stunk, and I don't like that feeling.

But as I continue studying and learning from other writers, I've discovered an important truth:

They are supposed to stink!

I know this because Hemingway told me so. : )

He had some sage advice for fledgling writers like me. He said:

"All first drafts are poop."

Well, he didn't say it quite that delicately, but you get the point.

I needed that wisdom because the perfectionist in me wants to quit when the writing isn't perfect. It is quite possible that these scenes I'm writing now will be chopped during editing, but I have to keep telling myself there will never be a polished final draft if I don't pull the story out of me first.

It takes courage to keep moving forward even when you wonder if you really have what it takes. I may find in the end that I don't, but I will never know if I don't take the risk of following after the dream and trusting that once the story is out there, I'll be able to fix what's wrong.

I better get off the computer and get some housework done, so when Prince Charming's nap time rolls around I'll be able to get back to work on Chapter Four. I've got to get my two main characters to meet so they can get to the business of falling in love already. : )

Have a great weekend!

7 comments: said...

You can do it! I am so impressed with you for tackling this... don't give up. You'll be so glad you persevered!

Unknown said...

Everyday Becky, you are soo not everyday! : ) You are more like Wow Becky. I think it is so hard to get past the first drafts and remember that " once the story is out there, I'll be able to fix what's wrong."

And a story that includes starts with falling love!? That's good stuff.

Sally Jo said...

That would help the romance all right. Meeting that is:) Mom

jen said...

What an encouraging post, Becky! Thank you for that. I think we all--whether or not we are even writing a book, can use this wonderful advice to persevere. It takes great courage to put yourself out there. Keep it up!

Hilty Sprouts said...

You go girl! :o) Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you!

Nana said...

Becky, Don't give up and don't give away too much of what your story is about. Too many people will try to give you advice and you don't need that from people who don't know what they are talking about. You can do it!!! Nana

Sara @ Embracing Destiny said...

That quote gave me a good chuckle. Thanks for sharing this! ;0)

I'm also attempting a novel (well, 27 of them but who's counting?) and I often get bogged down by the editing rather than just letting the writing flow. Best writerly advice -- just write it all out, THEN go back and edit.

Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo next month?