Not too long ago I made a decision that I would only word-vomit on the first draft. I would write super fast, skipping over details. Then when I told the whole story, I’d go back and do some major rewrites. This is a popular strategy in terms of writing a book, but is it really the best?
problems with word-vomit
Personally, I found that word-vomit can lead my book in places I don’t want to go. Since I’m only thinking about writing quickly, I seem to forget what I’m supposed to be writing. With word vomit, your outline can slip away from you and you can easily end up with 20,000 words that you didn’t mean to write and have no importance to the story.
The second point—and in my opinion, the most crucial one—is that word-vomit takes away the fun from writing.
story time with melissa
Last night I got back from a long trip at Six Flags. I rode all of the most thrilling rides in the park. By the time I got home I was exhausted, but I had a strange urge to work on my book. I don’t know why, but I wanted to write something beautiful.
“Forget word vomit,” I said. “I’m going to write slow and put my heart into it.”
Two hours later, I had two chapters with writing that I couldn’t believe was even mine. It was the best I have done, considering it was only a first draft. Even though I could have written the same amount in half of the time, I felt much more accomplished.
the joy of writing
Let’s face it: when we first start writing, we aren’t drowned by techniques. We just sit down and write because it’s fun that way, and that’s all there is to it. However, once we gain more experience we begin to read articles. books, or watch videos about writing. We learn what is more efficient, not what is more enjoyable.
At this point I would like to spring back to one of Iva’s older posts, Let’s Make Writing Fun Again.
a quick comparison
Many times, a writing situation can be compared to a reading one. Let’s take reading speed, for example.
Some people, like professors, have reading as part of their everyday life. In order to be more efficient, they learn a technique called speed reading. Speed reading is a way to understand the concept of a paragraph without scanning and analyzing every word.
Then there are your everyday readers who read not because they have to, but because they enjoy it. These readers taste every word of writing and nurture it. They take it in and meditate on it.
Writing is a similar scenario. Do you write fast, or do you nurture your words? Either one works—in the end it is all personal preference.
Even though I can probably write faster, and most of my first draft will be heavily edited or rewritten, I think I’m going to ditch word-vomit for now and stick to enjoying the full process. Hopefully this will help encourage me to be excited to write instead of thinking of it like a part-time job.
Please comment down below if you are a word-vomiter or if you like to take your time. I’m interested in how other people approach writing, as I don’t hear this topic come up often.