WQ- Don’t Forget to Edit
It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly. —C. J. Cherryh
August is upon us, which means autumn is coming, aka pumpkin flavored everything is on the horizon. I love autumn, not a fan of pumpkin; sorry, not sorry. Among the fall-orientied activities, such as hay rides, corn mazes, using leaf corpses to make a decorative wreath for the front door, there is also the fall-orientied writing event that writers fear and love: NaNoWriMo.
If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, this is when many writers enter their caves for hibernation on November 1st and do not reappear until November 30th (if we’re lucky). These writers are attempting to write 50,000 words, the first draft of a novel, in one month. I have only attempted NaNo once during 2015 and I quickly fell out of the game as I was also a full-time student working on a double major (been thinking about attempting it again this year, but more on that in another post).
But, the goal of NaNo is to get authors to get the words down without worrying about quality. NaNo wants writers to write as much of a story as possible quickly because once the words are there then the refining, the editing, process can begin. Cherryh’s quote above sings true for NaNo. The draft at the end of NaNo isn’t meant to be a pretty, polished, publisher-ready entity, but that’s okay (if anyone tries to say they have come out of NaNo with such a draft they are more than likely lying). Editing these drafts is what makes them shine and sparkle (because if nothing else they are riddled with typos).
Neither every word nor every idea that comes out of a writer’s brain is going to be perfect right away. Any writer can attest to that. Cherryh’s quote reassures writers that it’s okay. Yes, it may be garbage, but it can always be turned into something better. So just get the words onto the page, get the ideas out of your head and before your eyes, then you can work on polishing away the grime and making the idea sparkle.