“First drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written.”

I haven’t written very much in the last week.  I’m not exactly proud of it, but I think I have a pretty good excuse: I haven’t been sleeping much at all.  All last week, I felt like a zombie.  I wanted to write, but I just didn’t have the mental capacity to do so.  I felt like I was barely surviving at work.

In any case, I did think about writing during the week, even though I wasn’t able to bring myself to actually do it much.  When I was reading The Happiness Project, I came across a part in the book where Gretchen Rubin decided to take a month to write a novel.  To assist her in this project, Rubin followed the novel-writing instructions outlined in No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days.

On Thursday last week, I went out to lunch with my coworker _____.  I was telling her about the dramatic debacle that took place on my vacation.  When we returned to the office, I showed her pictures of the individuals that were involved.  As I sat down at my desk, I had a realization: I could write about what took place on my vacation.  When I say that I could write about it, I don’t mean that I could just recount the facts of the events.  I mean that I could take the core of what took place and expand it into a work of fiction.

This is not the first time that I’ve had an interest in writing fiction.  When I was a child, I used to write short stories all the time.  When I was a teenager (maybe 14 or 15 years old), I started writing a fantasy novel (I was a nerd–I read a lot of fantasy novels and played an online multi-user Dungeons & Dragons game).  I don’t remember what my book was about, but I know I never finished it.

So, now that I have an idea for a novel (this time not a fantasy novel), do I move forward?  I really like the idea of buying the book that Rubin used and trying it out.  I understand that the final product will probably be junk.  The point is to do it, not to master it.  I think it would be fun.  My only real concerns are time and energy.  I seem to have packed my February and March full of activities (concerts, conference, etc.) and I haven’t been sleeping well at all.  I’m worried that if I take this on, I might not be able to make the progress that I want to make because of these things.  But, if I face it as something fun and not a requirement, it won’t be stressful, right?

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