My first book was horrible. No, worse than that. It wasn’t even a book. It was a bunch of words cobbled together and then tossed in a blender. I thought it was interesting and well written at the time (if I showed it to anyone of you reading this I’m sorry. I’m sure it was painful). I remember a few sentences I wrote, “The horse beside him trudged slowly onward beside him.” And also, “after walking through the forest for an hour, they can to a large forest.”
First drafts are terrible. I thought what I wrote was good at the time (roughly 10 years ago). Really good. I think I even had delusional thoughts of being a professional someday.
It did not take long for me to come back to earth. I reread it after setting it aside for a few months and realized how poor the writing was. I did not roll up into a ball and cry, however, I was proud. Proud, you ask? I was proud because it was done. I’d written a book! And every new draft I’ve written since has been better. Better planning and grammar. Better mechanics and literary tools to create something more beautiful. It is more than that though. Each word put on the page is a march along the path to publication. At times this path might lead me further away from my goal, but I am on a road. Occasionally, I find a short cut.
I write this post to those who fear of doing it wrong. It may be something you’ve heard a thousand times here and possibly with a writer friend or two but excellent planning without any actual writing is useless. It’s like planning and saving for a trip but when the time comes, you report to work.
As a writer, my goal is to tell a story. I want to finish one and do the best I can, but writers must learn by reading a lot and writing every day. Don’t believe me? Head over to Kristen Lamb’s Blog, she’s a professional. Yesterday’s post was about balancing writing and life. It is worth your time.
I hope you find courage and tenacity today my friends. Courage to move forward into the unknown of another page and tenacity to get up and do it again tomorrow.