I’ve been a firm believer in this method. I try to write every day. In the past I set firm deadlines for when my drafts had to be finished. I pushed through even when they made no sense to me.
|Une Vocation, by William Adolphe Bouguereau|
Maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve been rethinking it lately.
See... sometimes, I think, ideas need time and space to grow. If you always go with the first thing that comes to mind, you’ll end up getting stuck with a lot of half-baked thoughts. These past couple weeks I’ve allowed myself the freedom to let things percolate...to use some of my free moments to think instead of to write...to spend some more time out of the chair and out in the garden, or walking by the river, or staring up into the treetops.
Then when I got back to my revisions, I brought a depth to my themes and my characters that had been completely lacking before. My story had grown inside me while I’d been away from it, and the new ideas seemed to spring onto the page--completely unlike the way that I’d been dragging them along before.
I’m sure there needs to be a balance; even though I wasn’t working on my revision all those days, I still wrote every day. Sometimes snippets of short stories, journal entries, and plenty of ideas and questions about my book. Writing is a skill that needs to be practiced and exercised.
And I’m not sure exactly where I’ll find the balance. When I work on my next first draft, will this opportunity for delay work, or will it enable me to postpone the hard work indefinitely? Maybe I need to take a good chunk of time to think and imagine before I begin, and also break periodically to re-assess... Maybe the “perfect way to write a book” changes with each one.
What do you think?