Writer’s First Steps

Update: So if you’ve read last week’s blog post, you would have heard that I worked on my painting and writing two days in a row while working a full-time job. Well guess what, it wasn’t a fluke! I’ve been keeping up this week too, and the still life I’m painting may be very slow in coming, but it’s encouraging to see at least one part come into being at a time.

Likewise with writing, it may take years (ugh) for certain projects to develop. It would be nice to just be like C.S. Lewis when he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, and, while having some major changes to characters during the development period, just write one book per year with little edits to each.

Even so, watching my shadowy ideas come down in a feeble attempt at communication is the first step forward. A baby has to take first steps in order for it to run a marathon some day. A writer has to keep writing (at reasonable intervals) to get better at it (it’s also known as practice!)

I’ve said so before in prior posts, but I still don’t agree with the writers who say their first draft is utter trash. Of course it’s not the way you want it to be at the moment! But if you discipline it (edit it), your draft’s potential can become full-fledged in action, thought, emotion, and movement. We need to be kinder to our first drafts, I think, and have faith in the potential of a draft and in our ability too.