It was a sparkly day today, the kind we have after a big storm, when the world is washed clean. We don't realize how hazy it can get until one day we wake up and everything is clearer than real life. Hyperclear.
It was my favorite kind of day.
And it was a writing day. I plotted out my new book. "Plotted out?" you might ask. "I thought you wrote the second draft already." Yes, but it is not until I'm finished with the first draft that I know what the plot IS. What comes where, what is backwards, what needs to be turned around and spun on its head like a break dancing champion after a powerful breakfast. And even now, my plot is a loose sketch. I've moved some things up, some things farther back in the story. I'll throw tons of it out, I'll write until it barely resembles what it started out as.
You just don't realize how hazy it can get, until one day, everything is clearer than real life.
This is my number one piece of writing advice, actually. Don't worry about anything you put down, because it can all be changed. So write freely, write and write and go over and over it, and take long breaks from it and look at it with new eyes later. And then write some more, clear away the haze, help us understand what you are trying to say, zoom us in on the alligator-shaped belt buckle, the feather earrings. You'll find that you lose the fear, that you write more and better, because you know clean up comes later, and there's always a later waiting for you somewhere down the road.