It’s Sweating with Sven time again!
Iâ€™m dealing with revisions on one book right now and soon to be headed into CEs and Galleys on others. But at the same time Iâ€™m about to jump into a first draft – writing something new â€“ something fresh and shiny and gloriously fun. Something I need to write within the next 45 days, more or less. So this challenge has perfect timing for me, because when itâ€™s done, I move right into two new proposals that are due right before and right after the holidays.
So here’s what I’ve been thinking about the past few days as I was deciding what to write up for today’s post. Thereâ€™s very little you can control in this business â€“ very little. The only thing youâ€™ve got is your writing â€“ and really, by that, I mean the first draft. After that, it becomes a combination of you and your editor and possibly your agent working together to mold the draft into something the world will see. You have some control over that process, but by then itâ€™s more like a collaboration of sorts. And yes, Iâ€™ve seen revisions turn a book into something awesome â€“ I agree with people whoâ€™ve said that thatâ€™s the real writing â€“ the real digging in deep. Thatâ€™s when you mine the gold and throw out the stuff that seemed so wonderful in the first draft.
But thereâ€™s always magic in that first draft. Always.
So yes, really, when it comes down to it, all youâ€™ve really got control over is your first draft. So you need to love it â€“ have fun with it â€“ donâ€™t hold anything at all back. Thatâ€™s the raw clay youâ€™re going to use later on, when other hands get involved to help you shape it. They will have good ideas, but that kind of advice will only be helpful if youâ€™ve got good material to begin with.
So what can hold you back from digging into that first draft – what manifests itself in so many different ways, like procrastination and excuses? It’s called Resistance, and I’ve talked about it before in reference to Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art. It’s fantastic, and I’ve actually given it a reread this past weekend in order to get me past my fear of jumping back into that magical first draft.
These passages stuck with me, so I’ll share them with you and together, today, we’ll make that leap and make sure resistance doesn’t win.
Resistance is directly proportional to love. If youâ€™re feeling massive resistance, the good news is, it means thereâ€™s tremendous love there too. If you didnâ€™t love the project that is terrifying you, you wouldnâ€™t feel anything. The opposite of love isnâ€™t hate; itâ€™s indifference.
The more resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art / project / enterprise is to you â€“ and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it.
Details on the challenge are below, along with a link to Svenâ€™s website and the sponsors for the challenge â€“ along with the original five, weâ€™ve added five more to help keep us all rolling along.
New Challenge details below:
We here at Sven Says Sweat invite you participate in round two of our Seventy Days of Sweat Writing Challenge. The challenge begins on Monday, October 15 and runs through Tuesday, January 15.
Yes, thatâ€™s 93 days. Weâ€™re giving you 23 days off to use as your personal holiday and religious circumstances require
For those participating in Nano who donâ€™t want to start before 11/1, you can use the first 15 days to plan out your story, and then have 45 days to polish once November is over.
The goal is to have a completed manuscript at the challengeâ€™s end.
The rules are simple. You agree to write from 750 to 1500 words a day (depending on your project needs) between the dates listed above. If you need to take off a day, you make up the pages another. Remember: You only have to do the writing for 70 days.
You donâ€™t have to have a blog to participate, but we do want you to sign up below so everyone involved can get to know one another. And if you do have a blog, you can post the information there. Going public with your commitment is about owning it.
As far as reporting your progress, youâ€™ll come back here each Wednesday and Sunday and post your total word count. Those of us sponsoring the challenge will be dropping by your blog (if you have one) and egging you on! And this year we have several co-sponsors who will also be checking up on you! (More on that later.)
The challenge is open to anyone writing in any genre, published and aspiring authors both. On the sidebar, youâ€™ll find our logo if youâ€™d like to put one on your blog. For now, letâ€™s see a show of hands.
Whoâ€™s not afraid to sweat?