Hello, welcome back.
Today I am going to talk about something which I am starting to get my head around.
Note: I’ve not nailed this yet but I am trying. 🤣
So, I am talking about – the ability to coexist with your imperfect draft novel and be at peace with all its flaws. You can go about your daily life and not be plagued or tortured by your draft novel sat there with it’s saggy middle, flat ending and cast of chaotic characters. You can even smile naturally at your imperfect draft novel. There’s no gritting of teeth or sleepless nights. You don’t delete it, quit writing it or quit writing altogether because of it. You accept it needs work and you learn to live with it. For me this is a next level writer mindset.
We get obsessed with trying to make everything about our stories perfect. I am guilty of this. We grit our teeth a lot and make change after change but our draft novel never matches that ‘perfect’ vision in our heads. It’s like someone is dangling a carrot in front of us.
Is there a perfect novel out there? Yes, I have read great books but it’s hard to label them as perfect. Also my idea of perfect might be different to yours.
The trouble with chasing perfection with writing and I am GUILITY of this is that it is super easy to fall into the – ‘this story will never be perfect so I might as well not bother,’ mindset. This results in half finished draft novels and long term writer disappointment. Trust me on this – ha ha! I have been down this road.
I have recently experienced a new kind of writer peace and calmness. It comes from accepting a draft novel has faults and telling myself over time I will work on them. *Gasp* I swear it’s peaceful.
You tell yourself its never going to be perfect but it will be crafted to the best of your abilities. Living with a draft novel which needs work is ok. You have to say this on repeat 🤣
I am learning to say, ‘yes, I am working on a draft novel and it has issues..but I am ok with that. *deep breath and force out a smile*
Here are my top tips for learning to live alongside your imperfect novel:
- Bring your flawed novel in from the cold. It wants to be loved and not hated.
- Remember stories don’t have to be perfect to be powerful or captivating.
- Try sitting next to your draft novel and think light fluffy happy thoughts about it…🤣
- Try to get to the end of each revision cycle and then take a break from it.
- Keep saying to yourself, ‘there’s no such thing as a perfect novel.’
Good luck out there.
Lots of great advice there, and as you said, Lucy, your idea of perfection is different from another. Who’s to say what you have written isn’t already perfect in another’s eyes? 💛
Reblogged this on Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie.
Of course, you are right, Lucy. There is no such thing as the perfect novel.
This has never given me nightmares, for I’m not perfect either. I just do the best I can and hope for the best…
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Great tips! Thanks for this, and when nothing is perfect why should a novel be perfect? 😉 Best wishes, Michael
Great advice! For me, writing a first draft is like pulling teeth, I’m so attached to trying to make things perfect. I just have to remind myself that I actually enjoy the revision process and if the first draft was perfect there’d be nothing to revise.
Reblogged this on Kim's Musings.