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Hello, amigos y amigas, welcome to GLTV, the only program that will promise not to make any promises… mm, that’s not a good start.
One thing you should know about me is that I am writing a new book. Why? Because that’s what I do.
I also clean restrooms and wash dishes and wait tables at my day job, but that’s not the point of today’s topic.
This is the next installment of Stuff I Write On My Blog.
It’s always scary to start a new project, any kind of project. When I decided to incorporate video-making and podcasting into my self-publishing path towards greatness (mhm)…I realized I needed a new strategy. My workload was going to multiply. I would say goodbye to any resemblance of social life. I would end up with oversized love handles because I spend hours sitting down.
But I had a better idea, I would stop whining about those banalities and get to work.
So I planned out a new way of doing things, I’ve been a lot more productive, and the most important part: I’m having a lot of fun.
*Galuri: I don’t believe you.
(Look at him with anger.)
As I was saying, I’m having fun, despite whatever Galuri is thinking.
Today I’d like to talk to you about working on a new book/story/blog/video-scrip and how daunting it can be.
Let’s say you finished that first draft that had been rotting away in your head like an avocado you bought last week, and for some reason, you haven’t eaten. Once the avocado is out, and you did the whole guacamole, put the tomatoes, onions, cilantro -and jalapeños if you’re feeling adventurous- it’s time to get one thing straight in your head:
1-Your first draft is always going to stink…
Yes, just like rotten avocados.
Most writers tend to believe they are the most brilliant dingleberries God has created -you can ask Galuri, he still feels that way about himself-
But the truth is, trying to be perfect is the worst mistake anyone can make, and it’s okay if your first draft didn’t come out like Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Even he lasted three years to paint Jesus and all his friends…
*John: They were not his friends. They were his disciples.
I don’t care. I’m not trying to be perfect.
*John shakes his head.
Perfectionism is like Santa Claus, one red, jolly, and giant idea some people have tried to shove down your throat since the beginning of times. Still, nobody really knows what he looks like.
Did you know that Santa used to be green like guacamole? How’s that for a twist?
Now, let’s go back to your first draft. When it comes down to it, you have to accept that it will not be as good as you want it to be. For the most part, it will look like a tirade against humanity, a plethora of pronouns, verbs, and adjectives that will only describe whatever it is you’re thinking about at the moment.
In my case, since I’m hungry, I’m thinking about food.
When you’re done writing your first draft, it will look like a hurricane had its way with your page, and you’ll have to pick up the pieces, make everything look good.
And that’s where the magic happens.
2- the real joy of writing lies in rewriting
Once everything is out of your head, you can look at it, put your apron on, your gloves, grab the soap, and start scrubbing away the fat.
*Galuri: Just to be clear: are you still talking about the first draft? Because now it looks like you want to wash the dishes.
(You, thinking) Yeah, I’m still talking about the first draft.
A lot of great authors have emphasized the importance of rewriting. One of them, William Zinsser, in his book “On Writing Well,” wrote: “Rewriting is the essence of writing well. It’s where the game is won or lost. That idea is hard to accept. We all have an emotional equity in our first draft; we can’t believe that it wasn’t born perfect. But the odds are close to 100 % that it wasn’t.”
It’s paramount to spend as much time editing and revising your work, making sure it evokes the feelings you want it to evoke. Now, let’s us not confuse that with perfectionism. One thing is to revise with an open mind and make changes to your writing. The other is to close yourself to the idea that some genius in your work should be spotless, and that any exposure to daylight will destroy its beauty.
Look at your work through the eyes of your readers. If there is a sentence, a line, a word that you don’t understand, chances are nobody else will.
There is a little known rule out there called The Rule of Three. According to Wikipedia, “a writing principle that suggests that a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers.”
I could make a whole video on The Rule of Three, but the main gist is that everything is better when it comes in threes. And that’s the approach I use in writing. Every time I write something, I revise it three times before I publish it. Sometimes I make mistakes, but guess what? I’m a human being. I get to do that. The important thing here, and that takes me to the third point:
3- Never lose sight of the big picture
As usual, the one thing that keeps people from pursuing any goals is self-doubt. Sometimes we can’t see the line between being our very own number one fun and our most hated self-critic.
There has to be a balance. We have to edit our work with the watchful eye of a critic but treat ourselves with the same compassion we use when caring for a friend.
I don’t know your definition of the ‘big picture,’ but remember, the joy lies in the journey.
My big goal is to do this for a living, tell stories, write them, entertain, try to take your mind off things that are bothering you.
And I know, there is a lot of that going on right know.
That’s all for today’s video, amigos y amigas. As usual, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Don’t forget to visit my social media accounts and say hi. I promise I won’t bite.
I’ll see you next week, have a wonderful time. And don’t forget: Keep writing your story.
Until next time…