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Wednesday, July 9, 2014
7/9 Q and A with author Cynthia Lord...
Posted July 9, 2014 at 6:42 am
Hello there and thank you for taking the time to do this for us!
I am wondering…before you had submitted your first manuscript and once you had an idea, what kept you from planting those seeds of doubt in your head that often stop me in my tracks?
Posted July 9, 2014 at 9:30 am
Doubt is my middle name, Dana! But I’ve come to see that *revision* is actually where books become wonderful. My first drafts are just a framework, an exploration of a story and characters. It takes some faith to write even if you don’t feel confident, but knowing it doesn’t have to be right the first time through is also freeing.
And you can play little games with yourself, if they help. I *named* that judgmental inner editor voice in my head. When I was growing up, I wasn’t very good at penmanship and we had a stern teacher for that named “Mrs. Cathcart.” She would swoop around behind us and she had a rubber stamp with four sides: “Handwriting 1,” (the best) to “Handwriting 4″ (the worst). She’d come up behind us and BAM! her hand would suddenly appear and stamp “Handwriting 3″ on my paper. It was demoralizing, because I had to finish the page even though it was already judged as not good enough. And that’s how it can feel sometimes when I’m writing a first draft. That inner editor slaps “Writer 3″ on my page.
But I named my inner editor Mrs. Cathcart and when I’m doing a first draft, I send her away on vacation. I imagine her on a cruise sipping umbrella drinks, hanging out in the deck chairs, asking the waiter to rub some sunscreen on her, etc. It has to be some place *good* so she doesn’t want to come back! Then if I feel her creeping in, I tell her it’s not her time yet, and I send her somewhere else fun. I’ll call her home when I’m ready for her. It’s goofy but that actually helps to take some of the seriousness out of the whole thing and allows me to do that first draft.
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