Surgery Analogies FTW?

It’s day 14 of NaNoWriMo, and I’m totally physically exhausted. I am actually ahead in my writing by a couple of days, and it has not been too much trouble sustaining momentum, but I find that between a hectic work schedule and job that requires a lot of thinking and writing in the evenings, I am often physically shot in the mornings.

I have never been a morning person. If left to my own devices, I would wake up at 11 a.m. every day and work until late at night. I do my best work at night (albeit not necessarily when I have been forced to be up all day). So, I can get really into writing in the evenings, but the next day, I am practically a zombie until 11 a.m. Not a good cycle.

It is hard though. I have had a couple of days where writing was hard, but most of the time, it flows pretty easily. And by flows easily, I mean the first draft flows easily… I recognize that this current work is not fit for consumption by anyone else. It desperately needs a re-write before I would even allow anyone else to look at it. That said, I have been suppressing the urge to go back and re-write just finished scenes. I may re-read some of what I wrote the day before and cringe my way through it just to get an idea of what I need to write next, but essentially, I have done no editing.

I suppose this has worked because instead of a highly polished 100 manuscript pages of an unfinished novel that I am terrified of ruining, I currently have 162 manuscript pages of a very rough unfinished novel.  But I am still writing the rough novel! I am not afraid to screw up something good because I don’t have anything precious… yet. I can see why the workshops and craft books and NaNoWriMo folks urge this as the penultimate advice. It has been an epiphany for me, and I hope anyone reading this (not that there is anyone) who can’t turn off their inner editor reads this and says… “Wait, that makes too much sense. If I just keep writing it, even if I think it stinks or doesn’t look the same on the page as it does in my head, then I may actually get it all out there. And once its out there, I can do some reconstructive surgery on it to make it work, and then I can do some plastic surgery on it to make it pretty. And once the scars heal, I will have a novel.” Or something like that anyway…

About the Photograph: This photograph was taken at the Butterfly Garden in Key West, Florida in August, 2010.

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