My initial goal for the month of November, my first “someday”, and the WNFIN challenge, was to write and e-publish a non-fiction book in 30 days. Now, one week before the end of 30 days, I’ve revised my goal. Instead of getting the book all the way through publication, I am now aiming at completing the “Shitty First Draft”. This is quite a shortfall from where I had hoped to be, but I’m okay with the adjustment. Writing the book has been much more challenging than I expected. The length alone makes it a totally different type of writing style than what I have been accustomed to. Then there’s the storytelling aspect – again, quite different. I have gone from believing I’d write straight through from the Introduction to the final chapter, to writing a hodgepodge of ideas and stories that are only partly related to my initial outline. Hence, the Shitty First Draft.
In Bird by Bird Anne Lamont urges writers to embrace the shitty first draft claiming it can lead to clarity and even brilliance in the second and third drafts. Ernest Hemingway claimed, “The first draft of anything is shit.” Instead of letting my perfectionism and ego rule how I feel about the shortfall of my goal this first month, I’m going to look at this experience and know I’m in good company. However, I’m not going to say I’ll finish the book Someday – that would be counterintuitive to the point of my 366 Somedays challenge. Instead, I will commit that it will be done by Day 366 – hopefully significantly sooner. On to the second draft…
“Writing is an adventure.”