Sometimes I spend days staring at my computer screen without writing anything useful. Sometimes I manage to do quite a lot. Sometimes I start worrying whether there’s a mysterious drug in my favourite biscuits that I don’t know about.
This has been such a week. The plan was to write rought drafts for a sample chapter. To my surprise, I got everything done. In other words: about 14,000 words in 5 days. Phew.
Of course it’s far from perfect, but for now the goal is getting my ideas on paper. Style and form are not priorities (yet). I’m a perfectionist and I’ve discovered that just writing without being worried about grammar and style conventions is liberating. Of course lots of revising is needed, but the writing process itself becomes a lot more fun.
I first encountered this technique while taking part in NaNoWriMo. The idea of this project is to write 50,000 words (a novel, more or less) in one month. Of course this means that you can’t spend much times thinking about the perfect way to phrase your ideas; you need to get the damn thing written. And it helps. Of course you can’t write a publishable manuscript in a month. But I ended up with a 50,000 word draft. Over the next few months I did some editing and eventually decided to put it away for a while, and come back to it later. But fact is: I wrote a novel-length story. Experiencing that I could do it, even if it wasn’t perfect, was great. And the same seems to be the case for my thesis.
Actually, I’m thinking about another long story which may or may not become another novel. Getting published isn’t a priority (yet). But writing makes me happy, it’s a hobby I’ve always enjoyed, and the only way to maintain my skills is to keep doing it.