The Divine Timing of Writing a First Draft
I’ve tried so many orderly, neat ways of writing. I listen to advice from other authors about writing chapter plans, daily word goals and think; that is going to be me! I’m going to be so organised and I will breeze through my next novel. I have false confidence in myself, because when it comes to editing, I’m super organised like this. I can set goals for the week ahead and I actually achieve them. But when it comes to writing a first draft, there is just no planning for it – my brain refuses to cooperate. The writing time that I set aside, is spent googling strange things which have nothing to do with my storyline, staring at a blank screen or filling in my calendar (I don’t use a calendar) with upcoming events and pretty little pictures. Before I know it, my writing time is up and I’ve written a paragraph. I worry a little, that maybe I won’t be able to write another whole book.
But then without warning, an idea will basically download in my head and I have the entire book in there, bursting to get out. I suddenly can’t find enough time to write, I ignore everyone in my family and become attached to my laptop for a few exhilarating weeks, coming out the other side feeling as though I’ve run a marathon (I’m assuming, because I’m about as good at running as I am at planning my first draft) During this time, there is nothing forced about my writing, the words flow like magic and I’m left with a draft that’s messy, but complete! So, I’m just going to surrender to it and accept that for me, writing a first draft cannot be planned – it will find me at the most inconvenient of times and I’ll be there with open arms, ready to embrace it. (PS – to my next book, I’m ready and waiting!!)