Oct 7, 2009

Embracing imperfection

I think making the mental switch from "holy crap, whatever I write needs to be perfect" to "I need to purge what's in my head and reach 50,000 words" will help rid me of my incessant self-editing. That's my real problem. I've had a good (to me, at least) story idea in  my mind since...January? Hey Jason, when did we last meet in DeKalb for lunch? That's when I came up with this idea. So it has been a long time and since then, I've done very little work. Some character development and few major scene ideas, but that's about it. I've been so worried that this idea would fade just like all the others, and who knows when - or even if - another idea would come along?

Here's an excerpt from the welcome e-mail I received after registering. It really spoke to me:

"Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you."

Embrace imperfection. I don't think I've ever done that in my 36 years on this earth. I think it's about time I started.


crazycooldreamer said...

Hey, I have the exact same problem. I try too hard and over-think my writing and then get stuck with writer's block. The best way to deal with it is to keep writing though so hopefully things will work out in the end. :)

Jason said...

One thing my class has taught me is humility--nothing I write is perfect, no matter how much I slave over it or avoid writing it because it might be crap. So why not just write whatever and clean it up later? :-)