Woke up the other night thinking about the initial draft stage of writing and how so many people (especially perfectionists) have a hard time allowing themselves to, well, write crap. While crap has no place in a final draft, allowing yourself to write freely and without judgement early on can propell you through and beyond the trappings of the editorial mind. My rough drafts are always very messy, and while this leads to a lot of revision, it is a neccessary and rewarding process. Writing freely for me means allowing myself to follow connections. For example in the case of Gracelessland, the idea of a character being a dreamer, led to astronomy, Cetus, the constellation of the whale, Ham the first monkey launched into space, the infinite monkey theorem et cetera.
I refer to this as wreckless writing, if you are interested, here are the ten rules of the road:
1— Speed limit varies as long as your vehicle keeps moving.
Fast or slow, don't stop writing.
2—When changing lanes you do not have to signal.
In the early free writing stage follow connections whether they make sense or not.
3—Road conditions vary, you do not have to avoid pot holes.
Don't concern yourself with how smoothly things are going. Again, keep writing.
4—You may drive on the shoulder.
If things get bogged down, go around it.
5—Objects in the mirror may appear closer or further away than they are.
Early drafts don't have to make complete logical sense.
6—Collisions are expected, Emergency services may or may not be dispatched.
You will likely encounter prblems, but don't wait for help. Keep writing.
7—There is no right of way.
Your way is the right way to write a first draft.
8—GPS free zone.
It's okay if you get lost. By all means get lost. That is half the fun.
9—You may or may not arrive at your intended destination.
Let the momentum of the writing carry you to wherever it wants to go.
10—Keep you eyes on the screen and your hands upon the keyboard.
Don't get distracted by the dishes that suddenly need doing.