“You can’t fail if you write; silence is the only absolute failure. Each sentence is a small success” – William Hoffman

So my exams are over *insert happy dance here* and this means more time for writing. To date the development of my current work in progress has been sluggish but what keeps me going is the fact that the progress is visible.

Although I am still writing with no particular daily word count goal, as this suits the “no stress” me, I have now been toying with an idea of when I would like to have the first draft finished by. As much as I enjoy being able to just sit down and write what suits me for the day that feeling of enjoyment is becoming overwhelmed by the need to see this phase of the mission complete.

Initially I had an optimistically attainable plan for completing this novel: starting with the prewriting phase of using my brainstorming notes to do the layout, followed by writing the first draft while sticking to my daily word count goal as much as possible, then once completed take a timeout while researching my next project before getting stuck in to work on revising, before doing some serious editing. I did the layout which, surprisingly, I loved and feel has really helped my personal writing process. And at first I stuck to my daily writing goal, which was difficult due to the workload of life, but decided to put aside for a more anxiety free writing experience.

Now my mission continues, with an effort to increase my productivity without re-establishing the pressure of sticking to an intimidation inducing word count. I have to say it: No-one functions well under pressure. Most of us like to think we do, but in reality I really think we don’t or, at least, we don’t accomplish as much as we could. Maybe we feel more inspired with a deadline looming over us, but maybe it’s just a feeling, not reality. Perhaps the outcome is a more productive you, but what of the quality? So I am torn – torn between all the advice of getting the first draft completed as fast as possible because “the first draft of everything is shit” (thanks Ernest Hemingway) – and wanting to put more time and love into my first draft.

So impart your wisdom upon me writers of the bloggiverse, is it unwise to put too much time into a first draft?

“You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” ― Junot Díaz

PS : Please note – this is in respect of general writing time, not amazing quests such a NaNoWriMo.


5 thoughts on “No pressure but… Write! Write! Write…

  1. I’ve spent the last year on my first draft and I’m still not done. It has taken this long simply because I’m slow and I lack quality writing time. It is still garbage right now. I’m doing nano but I’m aiming to get 15k words. That should get me a hair’s breath from finished!
    I don’t have the answer to fast or slow. I think for some people like Stephen King it has to be fast. He says 1 month. (On Writing)
    Brandon Sanderson is considered an efficient machine in the industry for cranking out books. He spends many months on his first draft. Then a couple more on revisions. He hops around on different projects
    Some too. His website has progress bars for his various projects.
    I think you have to do what works for you. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and thanks very much for the input. Nice to know I am not the only one who takes longer with a first draft. I will definitely be participating in NaNoWriMo next year as well. I like to think that at the end of the day we all have our own process we need to follow. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am attempting Nano but with the aim of only 500 words a day because I am slow, a novice and know if I aim too high, I will give up because I will feel like a failure. My draft will take forever to do but at least it will get there eventually.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Finally!!! Someone else like me!! A different perspective is so refreshing. I’m the complete opposite of you creatively (even though I must admit, you are absolutely right about the stress a word count brings) as I convinced myself somehow to keep up with a daily 5,000 daily word count. I rarely hit it, feeling like a failure after hammering out 2500 words. People look at me like I’m crazy!!! Definitely going to adopt a softer approach! Great post, looking forward when your project is done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading. One of the things I am loving the most in the writer’s network is all the different approaches people take to writing. Makes me realise how amazingly different we all are even though our end goals are all the same.
      And as for your word count goal… Wow! Now that is awe inspiring 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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