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Write or Wrong?

Since finishing my first book and launching this website, I've joined a bunch of writing communities on Facebook and Reddit. I keep seeing time and time again how important it is to push through your first draft. That the "right" way to write is to get all your thoughts down as fast as possible and then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. This wisdom was compounded by a professional writing workshop I went to this week that said you should spend 40% of your time pre-writing, 20% writing, and 40% rewriting.

Yeah... that is so not my process.

This is how I write: I only have the vaguest of ideas where I'm headed with my story. The big plot points are there, but none of the details. When I sit down to write I have maybe the next two to four chapters outlined. And by outlined, I mean I have a list of things that have to happen in that chapter and that's it. I've been finding that usually these outlines get broken into two chapters depending on how the flow of the writing goes.

That's all I have prepared before I sit down and write. I write with ALL the details. Sentence structure, punctuation, word choice, all carefully considered. While I write I will read a sentence two or three times to before I decide it's right and move on. This is slow. Painfully slow. It takes me a good two or three hours to write 1,000 words. On a good day.

I also start the beginning of each writing day by re-reading what I did the night before. Sometimes I change a few words here and there. Other times I find that the tone of the scene is so far off that I wind up doing an almost wholesale rewrite. Only when I'm happy with what came before it do I start new writing for the day.

Basically everyone says this is the wrong way to write. And they might be right. It took me over five months to write the first 30,000 words of Acorn. Then I took a five-year break because I had no confidence in what I was writing. But once I picked it back up and was in the groove, I wrote another 35,000 words in five weeks. And as I edited, I didn't need to kill any darlings. The book was tight. I added another 5,000 words to flesh some things out and was happy.

I honestly like my writing process. I'm not sure I'm the type of person who could go back in and fill in the details. I like watching my world flow, fully formed, onto the page even if it happens at a pace of 10 words a minute.

Plus, this is a hobby for me. I don't have grandiose dreams of topping the New York Times Best Seller List. Doesn't that mean I should do this in a way that brings me joy?

What do you think? Do I need to give the "right way" of approaching a first draft a chance?

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