Do You Have The First Draft Blues?

It’s a phenomenon that occurs more often than not with many writers out there.  Sometimes, it sprouts up during the first few pages, chapters, or even near the end of the material that they’ve been pouring their hearts into.  They want to go back and perfect what they have already written, rewrite that opening scene and reimagine their main characters before they have even finished the material.

This is what I call the First Draft Blues.

It isn’t fun, by any means, and it certainly makes your book/story take an eternity to complete.  Here are some simple guidelines to help pull you out of that funk, and like dropping a pebble in a pond, help you to develop the ability to keep moving, one word after another.

Don’t Agonize Over Getting It Right The First Time!

Every writer out there has to edit or revise their work, and nothing comes out perfectly the first time through.  A general rule of thumb is that when you’ve poured your heart out into that first draft and completed it, set it aside for a couple of weeks.  Come back after the allotted period of time and re-examine the material.  This will give you the opportunity to look at your creation with fresh eyes.

Have Fun With It

Writing is a very personal experience.  The first draft is no exception, but that doesn’t meant that you should think of it as a chore.  You will dread sitting down to it everyday , and that will reflect in your piece.  Instead, allow yourself free reign, let loose, and don’t give two thoughts about what anyone else will think of your little masterpiece during the first draft stages.  What’s the most important is that you write it out, get the idea out there and completed, and have fun doing so.

Be At Peace

Atmosphere is everything to some writers.  When you are at peace, you are open to creative energy.  Creative blocks are enough to make you anxious and in an all around bad mood, but loud and busy surroundings can take that single block and build a house with it.  Set your area up for success, perhaps with music.  Remember that writing is a solitary practice.  When you are beginning to feel at peace, or in the zone, you will begin to relax and the words will spill over the pages before you know it.

Keeping Busy

There has been quite a bit going on lately that has kept me from writing.  These things are commonly referred to as “excuses” and trust me, I have plenty.  Michelle is eight months pregnant, so things have been a bit crazy around the house.  Also, summer courses are proving to be rather hectic, even if they are quite interesting.  The thing that amazes me the most is how sometimes life simply gets in the way of things.  I am certain that this is something that plagues every other writer out there, and even if it doesn’t, what do I care?  I am not every other writer. 

In a span of just under a month, I spilled out close to twelve thousand words.  That put my new novel at over twenty thousand words so far.  The reaction from various people, and yes even the occasional stranger, has not only been positive, but surprising. 

I plan on diving back into the book tonight, for the first time in about two weeks.  In those two weeks, I wasn’t just sitting on my hands watching the clock.  During my designated “creative thinking” time (that’s the term that I use because sometimes I write and sometimes I do not, but what’s important is that I do SOMETHING during the allotted time) I have made plenty of notes and even created synopsis’s for the coming chapters using the all powerful and knowing software – Scrivener.  

Well, I suppose that I should get to it then.