Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is how I feel sometimes about writing

Photo credit.

Rule: Sometimes you are saying "AUGH!" about writing and thinking about writing. This is okay, because it is intimidating.

You're putting your thoughts somewhere kinda permanent (or maybe really permanent - the internet is forever). One day you're going to come back and say to yourself, "Oh my god, that was so tacky/cheesy/awful/incomprehensible/dumb." And as much as you revise it, you can't scrub yourself of that feeling of "Why did I do that? I put my thoughts on paper and this came out? EW MY BRAINS ARE GROSS AND HORRIBLE."

And you know what? They were gross and horrible. I'm not going to give some life-affirming speech about how you're too hard on yourself, you've heard that and you know that. The thing is, it's okay that your brain was gross and horrible. I mean, have you seen the damn thing? Pretty gross. But you recognize it produced something you don't like. So fix it. Improve. Strive for excellence... or in my case, something marginally better than what you had before and add some secret prayer that nobody will notice how hacky your paragraphs are.

So if you are feeling "AUGH!" about writing, you should. Feel the paralysis, the petrification. Then, write something. It will be terrible. Then, THEN make that terrible writing beat on you until you are limber. You are tough meat, and your own bad writing will tenderize you. Brutally. This is ok. You'll loosen up, and words better than the words you had before will come out.

(Hopefully. AUGH!)

1 comment:

Elizabeth Downie said...

Ha, I love it. I often feel that way about writing. Almost every time I look back on old posts, I think, "WHY DOES ANYONE EVEN TALK TO ME!?!?!" Then I try to not think about it too hard, and just keep writing. :)