Trying to write my first novel

For a very long time I’ve been aspiring to write a novel. I’ve written some short stories  (*cough* fanfiction) before, so the idea of writing a novel has been very daunting. I started during NaNoWriMo last November, but I have not made nearly enough progress.

I kept blaming this on my busy schedule, lack of writing time, writer’s block, etc. But I finally realized what the problem was. It’s not the writer’s block, which I have plenty of. It’s not the busy schedule or lack of free time to be devoted to writing. It’s none of the et cetera. It’s the fact that I don’t think my writing is good enough. It’s me writing and thinking every word has to be perfect and that that the continuity has to be perfect the first time around. It’s a rough draft for goodness sake. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.

I realized finally that I should just keep writing. Just put my ideas down in words and then fix it up later. Even force  the words to come out even if it doesn’t sound as good as I’d like it to. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It will never be perfect. Hell, there are finished, published, best selling novels that are absolute garbage compared to my first draft (rhymes with smifty blades of spray, we’ve all read at least a few chapters, don’t pretend).

I feel like this is a problem with so many writers and not just a personal problem for me. We should be focusing on the story first and letting the words take us. Maybe if we all stopped being perfectionists, we could all be as rich as the author of Fifty Shades of Gray.

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