messy perfectionism, shitty first drafts and threesomes

Hi, I’m Lisa and I have perfection-girl needs. What can I say? I like what I create to be as close to perfect as it can possibly be. If it’s not, I get a li’l…antsy. Unless it’s housework, or setting my hair in a 1950’s ensemble – the former would involve me actually doing it, and the later requires crazy amounts of patience of which I have a grand sum of none.

Perfection is why I rock out as an editor. Someone else gets messy by writing their book of awesome, and I get to go in, wearing my fancy perfection-girl pants and work with them to tweak, add, delete, and basically make their book totally kick-ass. This satiates my perfection-girl needs. Being a writer however, does not. It pushes every li’l miss perfection-girl button I have. And not even in a good button-pushing way that will result in a heated argument followed by hot make up sex either.

So how does a girl with perfectionist needs write, and publish, 25 books? Wait, including SASSY, that’s now 26 – let's do a celebratory happy dance. It’s not because I got perfect, that’s for sure. It’s because I declared myself a messy perfectionist. Yup, a messy perfectionist. I get asked all the time, how long does it take you to write a book? My answer? As long as it takes. It’s a true fact. If you sit your ass in the chair and write words every day, pretty soon after, those words turn into pages, and those pages turn into a completed manuscript. Except if you’ve got even a smidge of perfection-girl, this will have you coming out in hives, raising your arms to the sky and shouting but what if my words suck? What if they’re not good enough? I’ve not got the right chair, I can’t possibly sit down to write. I need a temperate climate. The moon needs to be waxing. FYI: I have been known to say all of the above. So, this month is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – yep, writers the world over have set themselves the goal of writing an entire novel/book in 30 days. Now, I love November for many reasons – it’s my birthday, there are  fireworks, the sun makes autumn trees look magickal, and there’s a nip in the air which I love because I get to wear a matching mitten and hat combo – but what I love most, is that there is writer juju in the air.  Yep, November is the month when writer types get shit done.  Even ones with perfectionist needs.

Some people ACTUALLY write a book in a month, which I give huge massive kudos to, because that takes crazy-mad dedication, skill and no-social-life-for-the-foreseeable-future-ness. I on the other hand, write my shitty first draft.

For me, the shitty first draft is the most important part of the book writing process. It’s the heart spillin’, it’s the I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-what-anyone-thinks version.  Most times, the end result is a whole lot o’ suck, but what you will have is words on a page, and that, well…that’s when the real magick can happen.

Which is why, in order to become an actual author who wrote and published books, I had to become the messy perfectionist who wrote shitty first drafts.

This is how it rolls.

I set myself a month – NaNoWriMo is perfect-o because the air is thick with that writer-girl juju I mentioned earlier, but any month works – and I simply give myself permission to get messy with the project. I enter into a li’l alone time with my idea and my heart – it’s like the very best kind o’ threesome – and we get down to the business of writing a book together. Your heart is where all the very best kind of storytelling happens, it‘s your lens on life, it processes information and creates a YOU-nique-to-you heart print which you’re then able to share through the art o’ storytelling. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking of all the most bodacious, sunshine-splashed, fabulous, feisty, and fearless books that would ACTUALLY get written if we all united and sent our perfection-girls off to a place where they would get to count paper-clips, re-arrange stationery into size order or something equally yawn-inducing that they’d totally dig so that we could simply write a shitty first draft.

Once the words are on paper, once the truth juice has been spilled and your heart has been given a li’l space to play, get messy and tell it’s story,  you can call li’l miss perfection back to help with the re-writes, because that’s where g-friend comes into her own. Fact.

 Are you splashing in writer-girl juju and writing a shitty first draft this month? I’d love to know what you’re working on – is it fiction or non-fiction? Are you freakin’ out or totally enjoying the process? Share, care bear!

When writer-girl’s write together, awesomeness of the very best kind occurs, so if you want to write YOUR book and tell your story in 2013 – we’ll be organizing a stopover at Write A Shitty First Draft City during the Write The Freakin’ Book: Group Jam - it’s one of my most favourite writer-girl locations  –  register your place now.

We start on January 11th 2013, 11 writer-girl rockstars, guest appearances from industry superstars, practical advice, 1 to 1 time with me and a roadmap that will take you straight to Destination Published Author-girl – what’s not to love about that? Come sign up now, it’s going to rock.

If you’d prefer a li’l alone time with me, unfortunately, the Write The Freakin’ Book: 1 to 1  are now fully booked up until mid-Jan 2013  – there is a wait list, so if you’d like to sign up, please email me: Lisa@sassyology.com I do however, have You + Me = Book Writing Badass-ery sessions available through November and December, so If you want super-charged clarity about your idea, where and how to publish or would like your own YOU-nique pink-print to writer-girl success, sign up now.