That Little Girl

I read a blog by a fellow writer, Mary Gillgannon. In her first post on her new blog she spoke of her muse being the little girl she used to be. This post really resonated with me because before I grew up, before I read a hundred books on how to write like the person who wrote the how to write book, I was carefree in my creativity. I could write a story on a whim. I could start writing with just the word "the" followed by a space and then a slew of words. I wrote until I ran out of steam and sometimes I would finish the peice, and sometimes it would remain unfinished for all time.

I've kept all of those starts. Sometimes I look back at them and cringe. So many -ly adverbs. Such stilted and unnatural dialogue. But the ideas... the ideas are cool.

Sometimes I'm shocked by a bit of beautiful prose and wonder why I can't come up with metaphors like that anymore. Sometimes I blame that on a concussion I had a few years ago. For a while I couldn't think creatively. I lost the ability to think metaphorically. It was devastating. I read that it could last years. Luckily, the affects of the concussion only lasted a few weeks, but even now I wonder if they arent' still lingering... especially since I had a second one a year later.

But I digress... this post is supposed to be about the little girl I used to be. Even the teenager who spun gruesome tales because she hated her creative writing teacher and wanted to freak her out.

Where is that little girl? The one who wasn't held captive by rules and this person or that person's way of doing things? The one who could just sit down and write and not be hampered by if the characters are developed or if the story is organized correctly.

I want to be that little girl when I write my first draft. I want to not care about structure and all that. I want to just write.

For some reason, I'm having trouble letting go. Even though in my last post I gave myself permission to write a sloppy first draft.

Ah well...


How do you write your first draft? Sloppy or Structured? Both?

Trying to breathe underwater,
Claire L. Fishback


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