Today I had a minor setback (also apparently I can’t spell anymore, as the first version of that sentence came out “toady I had a minor stepack”).
I realized that I had written a scene that did nothing to advance the plot forward.
In it, our intrepid Princess was very hungry, thought about food for a while, and then they came across a house and ate dinner and slept and kept travelling.
…I’m not kidding.
Doesn’t that sound boring? It was. There was no conflict! There was nothing important happening! It was not, to borrow a word from my friend Tami Moore, Plotcritical.
My reaction was to have a total panic attack and convince myself that I’d wasted a day of writing and I should delete everything.
“But wait!” you say. Or you don’t say, but just work with me here for a minute and pretend you did say. “That is counterproductive! Don’t do it! Isn’t the NaNo motto ‘write now, edit later’??”*
“Well, yes,” I answer sheepishly.
Which is why I put on my big girl pants and left it untouched.
Good thing I did. As I was writing the next scene (pretending the Boring Scene never happened), I realized that a good bit of the writing could be worked into this scene.
Moral of the story: keep going. No matter what.
“Even if -” Keep going.
“But what about – ” Keep going.
“Except -” KEEP GOING.
The thing will never get written if you let your doubts – you know, those insidious whispers in the back of your head that tell you it’s all crap – take the reins. Your first draft probably is crap, but finishing a crappy draft is infinitely better than polishing the first five chapters forever.
The temptation is strong, I know. Writing is hard. But I know I can do it, and so can you.
Any of you struggled with self doubt/your inner editor/your evil twin**? Chime in in the comments. What did you do to get past it?
*…or something. Again, just roll with it.
** Oh man, that’s a story for another time. Maybe next week I’ll introduce you all to Lisa.