Monday, April 18, 2011

Is There Something Holding You Back?

When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to be was a writer. When I grew up, I convinced myself that it was a pipe dream and created more achievable goals. I went to college for years and changed my major 8 times. I had so many ideas for stories, books, screenplays, and I never even started one. I wrote for class. Often. If I compiled every essay, research paper, oral presentation, and writing assignment, I could create 2 full length, and boring novels. My diaries could make ten.

Why were the research papers easy, while the fiction was so hard? It's the same thing. Writing a blog, writing an essay, writing a novel. You give your audience what they want. Why is giving an analysis of the themes in Macbeth  easier than telling a story? Answer: it isn't. It was all in my head.

When I wanted to write fiction I would sit at my computer and NOT write. I would judge every line. I couldn't get through an entire paragraph without needing to reread the entire thing and pronounce myself useless. I expected perfection without experience.

I have learned a little in the past month. It doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to get done. It's okay if my first draft is complete garbage because every edit will be better than the one before. You have to mine a lot of dirt to get diamonds. Giving myself permission to suck has freed me.

So, while I'm qualified to give advice about very little, I AM qualified to give advice about this: If this sounds familiar to you, anonymous reader, if you too have struggled with the passion to write but the inability to actually finish something, JUST WRITE. Write anything. Write badly. If the scene isn't coming to you, just describe what you can and move on. If you aren't sure what comes next, skip to a scene that you'll be able to write more easily. Give yourself permission to suck.

Now I have an hour before I need to leave for work, and I'm going to go write something terrible.  ;)
Post a Comment