Thursday, 8 August 2013

"You're Allowed To Write Crap"

I have to keep reminding myself of this, because I forget and then I just keep editing a sentence or two until I'm satisfied with it... and then I'll go away, then come back and edit them again.  Which is ironic really, because I vary wildly between editing until it's as dry as dust, and hammering it out in one big blast, checking for errors and the worst examples of repetition and then booting it out into the wild.

I am allowed to write crap.

Because writing pages and pages of crap is better than having one nicely polished sentence.  There's a lot more you can do with those pages than with that one perfect, isolated line.

I've managed to find things to do instead of writing.  I have a very nice village in Animal Crossing, for instance.  I've listened to all 28 podcast episodes of Welcome to Night Vale (12 hours and 2 minutes), during which no writing could occur because you have to actually listen to them, not do something that'll distract you and mean you need to rewind.  I sketched and inked a fairly rough picture of Kirill (it's not procrastinating if it's drawing the character you're supposed to be writing about, surely).  I've moved pallets around (the big ones, not the painting ones), taken the dogs for a walk, spent time on the treadmill in my desperate bid to lose some weight...

I've just done everything but writing.  And when I do sit in front of my Works document--don't laugh, I've been using it for 16 years now and the only other thing I'm comfortable with is Abiword; I'm well aware that's abnormal--I just edit the last sentence I wrote.

So... this time next week, if I've not written 5,000 words (or, ideally, more), you have permission to hunt me down and give me a quick kick.

No, I won't tell you where I live...  hey, stop planning the trip already!

So if you're struggling too, remember this.  You are allowed to write crap.  Even if it takes ages to do it, even if you've spend 12 hours being distracted by a voice, at some point sit down, stop worrying and start writing.  We can save the editing for later...  and then really go to town on it.

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