There’s something magical about writing a first draft in one month. Author Kazuo Ishiguro, one of my favorite authors, put himself on the one month schedule for his first draft of Remains of the Day after battling anxiety and writer’s block that followed his earlier successes. Many revisions later, it won the Booker Prize and became a major motion picture.
About the process, he said, “I wrote free-hand, not caring about the style or if something I wrote in the afternoon contradicted something I’d established in the story that morning. The priority was simply to get the ideas surfacing and growing. Awful sentences, hideous dialogue, scenes that went nowhere – I let them remain and ploughed on.”
I can personally attest to the power of this one month formula. I wrote the first draft of my novel, Where the Light Enters, as part of NaNoWriMo in November. I’m editing it now and to get the bones of the story down in a month was very valuable. I followed this same one month draft pattern for my play, Sing After Storms and it was produced in New York City less than a year later.
Maybe you have a massive project, a piece of writing or something else, that you’re afraid to begin. Go at it full force, mistakes and all. Roll up your sleeves and get down into the weeds. Creation is messy for everyone. Give yourself a deadline and charge at it with everything you’ve got. It’s the only way anything ever gets done.