It’s been a week in Camp NaNoWriMo! My goal is one thousand words per day and I am pleased to inform that I’ve written 10k words in 7 days. *cue: me doing a small dance*

Since I’ve made myself not read through what I’ve written, it means all my work is unedited and raw. I’m just typing with my flow of thought and let it go without really seeing my previous sentences. I know where I stopped writing the earlier day and I continue. I don’t read the whole previous chapter to understand where my characters are.

That scares me a bit because I’m worried about how much my writing sucks. I know this isn’t my best work, I know it while writing itself. But this is all about just writing down what’s in my head, right? Not the perfect outcome. Today’s Camp Care Package says that perfectly. I’m going to assume it’s legal to share the advice and go ahead with it.

Your daily Camp Care Package is here to feed and nurture your creativity. Author Marieke Nijkamp takes over as your Camp Counselor this week, offering inspiration and encouragement:

If your process is anything like mine, your inner perfectionist will have reared their head to demand you fix that small error on page two, and that continuity issue in chapter three, oh, and how about that characterization snafu, and maybe you should get rid of the entire first act of the book because there’s a better way to go about it, oh, and, and, and.

Get rid of that voice. This is not yet the time for perfection. This is the time for creativity instead.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be written.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be written.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be written.

I’m going to follow that.

I’ve been thinking of something the past couple days, and it has come up in yesterday’s Camp Care Package too. It’s about having a critique partner/alpha reader as you write your first draft; about having an enthusiasm partner. 

Author Marieke Nijkamp talks about having someone to read your story as you go and provide encouragement to continue; to say “I want more!” If there’s someone wanting the story, you might feel more inspired to write it.

I thought about that. Having two or three friends from this blogging world to read my story. But I’m hesitant. Reason: what I said a few paragraphs back. My writing right now is in such a basic level, with hardly any research and defined lines, that I feel intimidated to think about sharing it. Obviously, it’s not good and has mistakes or weak sentences.

Having alpha readers could go both ways-them encouraging you and also pointing out those mistakes. I don’t like my mistakes to be pointed out, I don’t think anyone does. Before sharing, because of that fear, I would make myself read through it again and edit which defeats the whole purpose of this challenge. I’m still at cross-roads. Maybe if, one day, my confidence is high for some reason and I decide to send out emails saying “do you want to read my work which looks like it’s written by a 10 year old?” then I might actually do it because I’m not the type to back out of something that I’ve notified others about.

What about you? Would you want to have alpha readers while you’re still writing your first draft? 

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