Wednesday was day seven in the 15 habits of Great Writers Challenge by Jeff Goins. Day seven was about starting and giving yourself permission to do ugly work:
Every product you create, every book you write, every project you undertake, there is one crucial action you must remember:
Make it ugly first.
This is just a different way of saying, “Write first. Edit later.” It’s sound advice too. First drafts are going to be the worst drafts, no matter now painstakingly you think through every word, sentence, or line of dialogue. You will go through it all again later and find things to improve upon. That doesn’t mean you should stop writing. It just means what Jeff says. You need to give yourself permission to make it ugly!
I just finished doing first round edits on my (STILL!!) untitled ms. I loved it.
I went through and couldn’t help but smile at how awful that first draft was and know that it can only get better. With the help of my crit group, I aim to polish this baby to perfection.
Day eight was about building something. And not by starting a new project, but by finishing something you already had.
Find something and move it across the finish line. Then do the same thing tomorrow. And the day after that. And so on.
If you’re still doing this in a month, you’re building something. Until then, you’re just managing tasks. Pick a few that are worth your time, and keep with them. Your work deserves this.
Since Thursday, I have finished reading 2 books, writing several blog posts, and first round outlines on a sekret project (shhhh!)… Most of that was done today, this blog post included, because of a couple of days of severe migraine. But I finished!! And now, I must finish this one=)
Day nine was all about connecting with others.
Find a potential fan, friend, and patron (one of each) and reach out to them. Today. Don’t ask for anything but this person’s time. Don’t say no for them or apologize. Just ask.
Make it an invitation to coffee (if a local connection) or to Skype. Do it and do it now before you lose your nerve.
How awesome and scary is that?! For one, I’m not certain about having fans. I just can’t get passed the idea of anyone calling themselves a fan of mine. Does my family count? I’ve got friends who are writers. All of them are beyond awesome. I learn so much from each.
Now, time for the patron part… I do not have Skype. I do not live anywhere near the authors I admire (not near enough anyway). I do have an email written, but not sent. I’ve done several rewrites of it. Fifteen drafts are still in my draft folder. I will send the email tonight… And then avoid checking my email for a couple of days. (Okay, not really. I’ll probably check it every few seconds just waiting for any reply.)
I’ll let you know how it goes=)