Tuesday, December 28, 2010
But the thing about writers is we're all unique. Each and every one of us does things a little differently. Some people spend months hammering out their storyline with sticky notes and whiteboards. Others sit down at their computers, open a blank document, and begin typing furiously until, less than three months later, they have a first draft. And then there are some who toe the line, doing a little of this and a bit of that; but no two writers follow the exact same method. We each bring something of ourselves to the table, just like we do in our actual writing.
Now this person, I'm sure, didn't mean any offense when they told me I couldn't edit until I was finished writing. Only there's something about my writing that person didn't know: I wasn't just writing. I was editing.
You see, like all of you, I have my own method, and it's still growing and changing as I do. I thought about my TSA during school last semester, and I refused to work on it until I had free time. I jotted down notes, made comments on plot points, just little things (mostly during Biology, I'll be honest). And when I finally sat down to write it, it took me all of about three months to hammer the entire first draft out. My first draft, read like a third draft, something that's never happened to me before. So I know this method works for me. I let my idea simmer, so that when I wrote my first draft I already knew my story, which allowed me to focus more on the characters and the writing. It was awesome.
Now here's where my method branches off a little. When it came time for me to edit, do you know what I did? I opened a brand new word doc, and I started completely over. This draft is 100% new words. I don't copy and paste from the 1st draft at all. I may open it up, as I occasionally do, to double check some things, but this draft is both writing and editing. I'm changing the story and the characters with every new word I write. Making it better in so many ways.
My method, is not your method. In fact, my method may be the exact opposite of yours. But the point is, that we all have our own way of doing things, and we'll all write our books and make it to the finish line whenever we do. It's not a race. It's not a competition to see who can write a first draft fastest or best. Though I'll admit a little friendly competition can be nice. It's about the story. It's about us. We're writers. We're unique, and each and every one of us is made of awesome.
So when someone tries to tell you how to do your job, remember, they aren't you, and they couldn't possibly know what works best for you better than you do. Go, be awesome. : )