Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 4: The Temptation to Tinker

If we could tinker with a zygote's genes as easily as we can cut, copy, paste, and type over text on a computer screen, I wonder if babies would ever get made. The temptation to keep trying to make the beginning PERFECT is just so tempting, that it is difficult to just let the thing grow. But I need to let some more cells divide before I can see what kind of shape this little creation of mine is going to take, so I really need to just KEEP WRITING.

It would behoove me to re-read this blog entry before I start writing tomorrow, since tonight's labors only got me to page 6 (I was at page 4 yesterday). I kept getting ideas for ways to make the opening 4 pages better instead of just continuing to write.

I made one important discovery about this little beast, though -- my play does not want to be linear, time-wise (does this mean I'm giving birth to Benjamin Button?). Which could prove to be very interesting. Or pretentious and annoying, but I will strive to make it the former rather than the latter.

When I get up at 7 tomorrow to meet my personal trainer, I'm going to be desperately wishing I'd gone to bed earlier, so for now I must stop not only tinkering but also writing and get myself some sleep.


  1. Natalie --

    Probably the most important thing I've learned in 35 years of writing is to get out of my own way. Don't edit as I go along. Get it all down. Write the first draft.

    Tinker when you re-write and polish. Or after you have the first read-thru out loud.

    If you try to hone as you go, the freshness dies quickly.

    And I should know ... I've killed SO many of my works that way. :-)

    Love to you,


  2. I have no doubt that is great advice -- but so hard for me to do. I feel like I rewrite and hone in my head, even before I type, not to mention when I go back and read it. The only time I haven't done that was for a specific exercise in class where we had to write without editing, from an image we were given. I haven't quite figured out how to do that on my own yet.

    I'll keep trying...

    Thanks for the support!


  3. Oh, I definitely mentally edit before I type, it's impossible not to. But once it's down, I try to keep moving instead of physically re-typing over and over again.