If you’ve read here for any length of time, you know first drafts are not my thing. Right now I’m trying to “work my way through the chaos,” as Uma suggests, to find the lack of order freeing. I’ve set a goal of 500 words a day and have even met it once or twice. (Have I mentioned I’m slow?) Each afternoon I send my word count to Valerie, sometimes telling her a bit about the writing (a breakthrough, an insight, a dud of a day), but mainly I’m checking in because it keeps me accountable.
I’ve got plans for this story, let me tell you.
Last week while in Houston for a family gathering, I happened to pass this proverb on my morning run. It was a good reminder that as much as I prepare and dream, the writing is where I’ll find true satisfaction. The work itself is the reward.
Whether you’re NaNoing or involved in some other creative pursuit, I hope you might remember the same. Don’t let your goals distract you from the work itself. Don’t let your future hopes cloud your present journey.
Paul Greci says
I’m working on a first draft, too. And this is the first time I’m writing a novel under contract with a deadline. I really like what you said: “Don’t let your goals distract you from the work itself.” Because I love “the work” and doing the work will have its own rhythms. Thanks, Caroline!! And good luck!!!!
That is a hard place to be, Paul. I hope you can stay in the moment and that time stretches to exactly what you need. Here’s to satisfying writing in a structure that can be demanding.
I agree! The chaos of first drafts aren’t my thing either. I like your process and your reminder!