Thursday June 7, 2012
As a writer lucky enough to be able to work full-time around her two kids, husband and dog, I often feel guilty about being at home all day. What are people thinking about me? Do they think I sit around the house doing nothing? Why isn’t my house spotlessly clean (because believe me, it isn’t!!)?
It is only recently that these negative thoughts were banished (hopefully!) forever. The moment the email dropped into my inbox from my agent telling me Harlequin Superromance wanted to publish my first romantic suspense since 2008, I felt a weight lift. The tears came as the news hit me for six in SO many ways. Most of all, it hit me that I have the potential to really succeed at what I love doing most in the world…writing!
The sad truth is writing NEVER gets easier! Self-confidence in your work is, for most of us, an endless goal. With each book, I hope this will be the one to write itself. I’ll sit back and the characters will be so clear in my head I can hear them, the plot will be formulated and entirely error free, I will merely be my novel’s secretary taking dictation.
This might happen for a sentence, a paragraph—hey, even an entire scene! But the whole book? Nah, never gonna happen…
Before all you aspiring writers out there, pick up your laptops and throw them through the window, there’s a reason I am sharing this doom and gloom. Perseverance, belief, tenacity and skin thicker than an elephant’s rump is what is needed for you to have any chance of making it in the business. End of.
If someone would have told me that at the very beginning, I probably could have saved myself a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I am passing on this experience because I want to save you from having to do the same.
Let me introduce you to the freedom of the ‘crappy first draft’. Repeat after me, “I give myself permission to write the crappiest manuscript ever from start to finish.” Of course, draft two is where the real hard work begins – nothing free in this game ;)
But this method really works! Well, at least for me it does. Without the pressure of getting the characters, the setting, the plot and everything else perfect first time round, it releases my creativity AND output. People often ask me on Twitter how I manage such a high daily word count (I average 2,000 words per day) when I have school age kids. It is possible when you are not agonizing over every word and sentence.
Draft two is also a largely easier process than you might imagine – think about it, a full page can be edited, a blank page can’t.
So? What do you think? Could you give the ‘crappy draft’ method a try? What’s your process?
I’d love to hear from you!
Rachel’s latest release is Paying The Piper, available now from Lyrical Press. Here’s the blurb and buy link:
Nightclub manager, Grace Butler is on a mission to buy the pub where her mother’s ashes are scattered – except the vendor wants to sell to anyone but her. And the vendor happens to be her father…with a secret Grace will do anything to uncover.
Social worker and all-round good guy, Jimmy Betts needs cash to buy a house for three special kids before their care home closes. In a desperate bid for cash, he agrees to a one-time ‘job’ for bad-man Karl Butler. But in a sudden turn of events, Jimmy finds himself employed by Karl’s beautiful, funny and incredibly sexy daughter, Grace.
Their lives are so different except for one unifying thread – they are both trying to escape the binds of their tyrannical fathers. But is the key to their liberty each other?