Wednesday, November 5, 2014

As most of you know, today is my birthday...

Wait, no, I was going to talk about NaNoWriMo, but how KIND of you to remember that it's my birthday!

Why, yes, that's the second time I've used this gif today. Never gets old.
A lot's been going on in my life since my last update, and I don't have time to get into all of it (short version: I got into PitchWars after all as an alternate (!!!) and it's been wonderful and I have been busily revising and putting off school work like a responsible adult, and now I'm writing a new novel for NaNo!).

But this post isn't about ME. This post is about YOU, dear NaNoWriMo writer, if you are still reading this and have not been put off by my off-topic opening. *ahem*

My friend, Emily, sent me some NaNoMail this morning with the idea of sharing encouraging writerly quotes with one another. I loved the idea and wrote back, but I couldn't just provide my quote. Oh, no. I am much too verbose for that. So, in the process of explaining why I chose the quote I did, I accidentally ended up writing a mini-pep talk. A pep talkette, if you like. And I figured, why not post it here as well? If it helps inspire or bolster the morale of some of my fellow NaNo soldiers while y'all are in the trenches, then good! If it doesn't, well. Read it again, and lie to me.* (kidding, kidding)

Without further ado... my pep talk:

"It's a first draft, not a bomb."
I don't know who said it, but this quote's really resonated with me over the past year. Often when writing a first draft, I feel an anxiety about putting the words down. Will they be the right ones? What if they're the wrong ones? OH GOOD HEAVENS WHY DID I EVER THINK I COULD DO THIS.

But the truth is, there ARE no wrong words in a first draft. And an imperfect sentence will not make or break your book. We are not disarming bombs. The wrong dialogue/character/plot is not the end of the world. You will not self-destruct if you clip the blue wire. We are creating something new, and new things have flaws. I repeat: It's a first draft, not a bomb. So roll up your sleeves, get in there, mess around, and handle the story as rough as you want!

Good luck!


*In all seriousness, if you liked this pep talk, or if it helped any, do let me know! Provided there's interest, I may write more over the course of the month. :)


  1. I definitely needed this today! I definitely get bogged down with what if's and self doubt during the writing process. My NaNo draft is getting difficult to write "right" and it's wonderful to be reminded that it's okay to write "wrong" and then fix it later.
    And happy belated birthday! :)

    1. Yay! I'm so glad to hear it helped! :)

      That fear of mediocrity can be intense. It's something I started experiencing a lot last year. I went through a lengthy period of writer's block after taking a creative writing class where everyone praised my work. Because I suddenly had all this affirmation I could do good work, I was afraid to suck. It's still something I struggle with; some days I just have to go to war on the page, fighting against the insecurity, and allowing myself to fail as much as succeed. Which is what NaNo is really good at encouraging!

      And thank you for the birthday wishes! It's very nice to meet you! Good luck with your novel! ^^

  2. What an awesome quote. 'It's a first draft, not a bomb.' That should be every writer's screen saver. We do get caught up making it perfect early on that we stall. "Good heavens why did I ever think I could do this?" If we don't think this every other day, then we're not writers. At least that's what I tell myself ;)
    Happy Birthday!!!

    1. Thank you, Sandie! Haha, exactly!

      When I first stumbled across the quote, it struck me as being so true. It's also reassuring to know that there are other writers out there who struggle with this sort of thing--and overcome it!

      Good luck with your writing! :)