Give Yourself the Right to Write Crap

07 Jul

You sit there staring at that blinking cursor and you at least give yourself credit for sitting still in front of the computer without distraction. And there is a brief pause….of about a few hours and still nothing on that screen. Sure, you’ve done a bit of surfing on the net to get some background or info on your story. And hey, you had to check your email and respond to those pressing forwards that keep circulating. But the writing part of your writing is left…empty…cursor blinking.

And why is it such a hard thing to do? We love writing don’t we?  I think the hardest part of starting to write is locking up that inner critic. That editor within that just wants the perfect first line, the flawless first paragraph….a first page that can almost evoke a religious experience it’s that good. Well, no wonder we can’t bloody write!

So let’s give ourselves the permission to write crap. Just get it all out on the page and indulge in the freedom of letting go and simply expressing yourself. If you think about writing in this way it really makes the whole process so much more approachable. You have to get to the heart of your story first and worry about the critic later. The first draft is never going to be good enough, so just accept that it has to be good enough for now. As YA author Libba Bray said at a writer’s conference, lower your standards, let the madman out and type your first shitty draft!

Embrace this new way of thinking about your writing and just see how many more words and how easier it is to start hitting the keyboard when you allow yourself to simply write without inhibition. Once you have your story down then you can go back and start adding layers and revising.

But for now just sit down and write!

*So here’s a thought…what kind of writing habits do you have? Is there a ritual before you sit down and write? Time of day that you are most productive? Personally, I like to leave myself on a hanger with the manuscript…stop somewhere it would be easy to pick up writing from. So in the middle of a thought, I stop typing and then I find it so much easier to continue the next day.


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