Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Write Wednesday: The Difference Between Procrastination and Productive Brewing

Hi all,

Still working on my new website...I hope you all will love it!

Today, however, I'm going to be writing about something that's been forming in my brain for a while, which is the difference between procrastination and productive 'brewing' (not writing).

Over the last few weeks I've been working on two different stories.  They're two different formats, and are vastly different from each other.  Enough to keep me interested, or so I thought.

But I've stalled out on both of them.

One of them I'm blatantly procrastinating with...and the second, I'm productively brewing.

Here's the difference.

While I spent a huge amount of time on pre-planning the first story (in novel format), I really, really needed to solidify the world and I have some pretty big plot holes to fill in.  So, I took some time, re-thought it out, and dove back into writing last week.  And then stopped.  Because I'm afraid to go any further on this draft because I know it isn't going to be really good.  It'll be better than the first one, but it will still require fixing and there are still so many things I don't instead of just doing it, I've procrastinated, and my poor story has dwindled into a sad, weakly little thing.

While a lot of pre-planning is great, it still won't fix everything.  Those first few drafts, especially, are just going to have to be crappy and that's all there is to it.  Losing the fear of failure and taking the time to gently comb through my manuscript to untangle every snarl is a lot of work, work that I don't particularly feel like doing right now.  But to tell the story as best as I can, I need to go back in and keep writing, even if I'm unhappy with this draft already.

Now for the 'brewing' story.  I'm writing a short film (12-15 pages) and I'm in the third draft.  It's already tons better than the first draft, but I still have one plot hole that is giving me a terrible rash.  Seriously, it's bothering me.  But instead of bulldozing through it, I've taken the time to step back, sit quietly with my knitting (or crochet), watch some good TV, and really *think* about the problem.  Which is why the third draft is so much better than the first.

The difference is that I'm purposefully setting the second story aside to really work on the problems, instead of just avoiding the story altogether.  There's a way to balance thinking time and writing time and it tends to work very well, when you can do it.

So, now I need to spend some quality time with the first story (which I will be doing this weekend) in order to figure out where the major plot holes are and how much I need to fill in.  Lots of time knitting and perhaps reading some good books are in order.  Also I need to make a playlsit.  Wish me luck.

Are you stalled out on a manuscript?  Do you have any advice for me (particularly on how to avoid procrastinating)?

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