It's Friday! It's Friday!
Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything went wrong or ran out or spilled all over you and the only person you had to blame was yourself? Yeah, that.
What They Said:
"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." ~ James Michener
What I Heard:
You don't have to get it right the first time. That's why we call it a "draft." Relax. Regards, Jimmy
Are you a fiddler? I am. Due to my *ahem* prolific breeding, I often forget where the heck I left off in my writing. Therefore, I never just sit down and begin. I sit down, read what I wrote the day before (sometimes more), fiddle with it for a half-hour or so, then start writing. I'm terrible.
The thing is, I know it's a draft. I know it's not supposed to be perfect. I'm down with Hemingway ("The first draft of anything is shit."). So I try not to reread stuff, which is pointless because, seriously, if it's been more than ten minutes, I've had to break up three fights already and I've forgotten. So I read. And then I obsess, because that phrasing in chapter four isn't clear and I know it and it's staring at me and I just. Can't. Leave it. Alone.
I mentioned in Tuesday's comments that my desktop background is a piece of advice I saw on Absolute Write once. I don't remember the name of the author (sorry, but thanks, whoever you are!), but he (I'm pretty sure it was a he) said: Deploy the artillery first, then send in the sniper.
Every time I start to fiddle, I give myself a mental kick in the pants and remind myself that a) no one gets it right the first time, and b) even guys like James Michener and Ernest Hemingway have to go back and blow up their manuscripts. And I relax. A little.
What about you? Do you fiddle as you go or save it all for the end?