Thursday, April 17, 2008

My New Mantra

Three weeks ago, my deadline was looming and I was only about one hundred pages into my book. For whatever reason, I couldn't write. Fifty of those pages were written last year! What was going on?

Ready to pull my hair out, I happened to come across a quote from another author. I so wish I remember who said it because the words helped me immensely. What was the quote? "Get to the end any way you can."

Normally, when I'm writing a first draft, I can keep my internal editor out of my head. Sure she'll come knocking occasionally to tell me how bad I am, but usually after she's tortured me a few days, I can get her to leave. This time, she had set up house and wasn't budging. Then I read this quote. A light bulb clicked and my internal editor left in a huff. I finally had the impetus I needed. I finished! Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Is it good? Not yet. But it's there. The possibility to make it good is there because the words are there.

Now if I can just get my internal editor to return, I'll be a happy writer. Unfortunately I think I offended her and she's going to stay on vacation a while longer. I may have to start a new book just to get her back.

How about you? Do you have a mantra that helps you write?


JoAnn said...

Congrats on finishing, Christy!

I like your mantra. Mine would be "Write it -- You can always change it later."

MaryF said...

Mine is "What the hell." No, seriously, it is "Keep going, one word at a time."

JoAnn said...

Mary, I had to laugh about "What the hell" because so many times I feel the same way. It's a very useful mantra, because you can say with a tone of disbelief as in "What the hell...was I thinking when I wrote that!" or you can say it with a tone of resignation as in "What the hell. I'm tired of working on this scene. I know it doesn't make sense, but I'll come back later and change it."

And that last "What the hell" is where I am now.


Diane Richmond said...

Give yourself permission to write badly, just write. You can always edit later.

These are not my creation but they work well for me and I am one heck of a writer on re-writes (especially after critiques from my critique partners).