by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007
“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”
I struggle with editing while writing my first draft. I can’t help it. When I see that something could be done better, I stop and work on it until I’m satisfied or exasperated. This prevents me from producing more than about 500 words an hour—and often less.
In an effort to overcome this, I entered NaNoWriMo this year. I hoped the pressure of writing 50,000 words in 30 days would motivate me to ignore all those editing opportunities. And just to make it more interesting, I have the added pressure of a schedule that will allow only 15 to 20 writing days.
Today is November fifth and I’ve only written about 500 words. To be fair to myself, I didn’t get started until the third and I’ve had a couple of urgent life issues to deal with. Still, I’ve had two and half days to produce and only managed to pound out 500 words.
I realize that five days isn’t enough history on which to base a judgment. But it has already taught me some very important lessons. I’ve learned that going against my natural tendency increases my stress level. Couple this with a personal issue that demands I reduce stress as much as possible, and I’m tempted to quit. But that’s not an option.
I may not reach the 50,000 word goal. And I may not overcome my need to edit as I write. But I know continuing will teach me even more—and that will be worth the effort. In fact, I’ve also learned that setting a word-count goal may not be the best approach for everyone.
A more important lesson is the realization that I have a particular writing technique. And I may not want to change it. My writing history has proved that I do my best work when I’m relaxed. And I’m now learning that I’m most relaxed when editing as I go. While I’d like to complete a novel in a month, that may not be most advantageous for me. The time needed to do several rewrites may prove to be less efficient overall.
Ultimately we want to present our best work to our readers. We write in different ways, and each method presents its own challenges and stress. So I guess the question is: would changing our style make us better writers? I guess I’m about 25 days away from knowing.
I need your help. What’s your writing technique? Do you think changing your it would make you a better or more efficient writer? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Do you write, right? Thoughts about staying true to our own process from @BruceDBrady on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, www.ChristianDevotions.us, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.
When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.