Today I finished the first draft of the first chapter of Drums of the North Star. It wasn't easy as I throttled that inner critic and just wrote, but two things helped me. Both were tidbits said to me by my friend Donna.
1) Trust your instinct. This is a tough one for me these days. It seems the more I read about how to write, the less sure of myself and what I'm trying to say I become. When I took a class from T. Davis Bunn last spring, one thing he mentioned was how a writer needs to have all the confidence in the world when writing a first draft and no confidence at all when editing the subsequent drafts. Today I was able to plow through by telling myself to ignore the uncertainty holding me back and trust my instincts to tell a story. Amazing results. Things I know I've worked out in my subconscious were allowed to flow to the surface and onto the screen. Some things had me sitting back and saying, "Yeah, that's what I meant, but where did it come from?"
2) There is a difference between wanting to write and wanting to have written. You might have to stop and think about that one a bit. I sure did. Do I want to write, to be a writer? Or do I just want to have written? Do I want to relish the creative process or do I want to rest on laurels? Am I willing to do the hard work for the joy it brings me, or do I wish it was all done so I could brag about it? Hmmm...I want to write. I want to enjoy that process, the 'a-ha' moments when pieces fit together with unexpected symmetry, the shaping of fictional events and the portraying of characters that are meaningful and enjoyable in a novel. For me, I don't want it to be enough to say I wrote some stories. I want it to be necessary to continue to write.
So, Donna, thanks for those bits of advice. I took them to heart. I'm not saying you won't have to remind me again from time to time, but the lesson was implemented today.
The ms stands at just over 4K words now. One chapter. 13 pages. A sound start.