Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It Doesn't Have to be Good.

That's what I keep telling myself as I write the first draft of this new book. It's weird, because the first book - Legendary Days - was my epic, the thing I worked on for years. And the next one - untitled and shelved for the time being - was so intentional. Synopsis. Outline. Discussions with the agent. And to top it off, I edited each chapter as I went - if only to give myself a cleaner palette for the next round of revisions.

But this one - I've had to let go a little bit and write. It's like letting my kids play in the pool by themselves. I know they can swim. I know they've had lessons. But then I see the water rushing down the waterside. I see all the other kids - bigger, meaner, you know - and suddenly I need to be the only dad sitting in the 2 foot section of the pool.

And that's what it's like writing this book. It's flowing, more than anything I've written before. Like a pinched hose that finally became un-kinked. And I want to control it. I want to stop at the end of each chapter and tinker. I want to make it perfect.

But it can't be perfect - at least not yet. Because I don't know where these characters are going yet. And I don't know who they are, what - who - they love. I don't know what they're scared of, or the things they can't stand to lose. And with every page, it becomes clearer. A little bit of the story opens up to me every time I sit down and open Scrivener.

And so, as I get ready to write this morning, I tell myself again: It doesn't have to be good.


1 comment:

  1. I just got back from a run. I've been sick, and my expectation today was that I probably couldn't put in my normal distance. But I got out there, and my mind started wandering, and the next thing I knew, I had completed the run, no problem. The few times during the run when I thought about running, I felt like I needed to stop and take a break, but then I would stop thinking about running, and whammo. Run complete.

    All that is to say that sometimes you need to stop thinking about writing and just write.

    I've been revising, and I think I am revising the cadence away from my writing. So now I have to figure out how to clean things up without losing the flow.

    I'm glad you're allowing yourself to investigate this wip.