Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What the...?

I do not always write well. Oh yeah, shocking.

Actually, when I write a first draft of something, it tends to be stuffed with superfluous words like "very" or "particularly." I basically just vomit whatever is in my head onto the screen in front of me, and then go back later to clean up the mess. In fact, I am fairly certain that you can generally understand what I might possibly talking about. :D

 Sometimes, my mother sends me segments of a book she's working on (I try not to get attached since she often ends up moving on to something else equally awesome), and I just stare at the screen incredulously like, "This is your first draft? Seriously?" And I know what you are thinking. Oh please, self-depricating writer, we all think our work is complete garbage sometimes. And that's true. Writers might exit the gate with gusto and self-confidence, but if you do it long enough, you start to feel like you should have trained for the race a little harder.

So here's what I've realized as a writer and aspiring famous author who sits on a couch opposite of Ellen Degeneres: It is okay to write crap.

Not everything has to be inspired. Not everything you put into your story, book, novella, or whatever has to be accompanied by the trumpets of angels. If you write something pretty terrible, and you can feel yourself getting discouraged by it, move past it. Just keep going. Don't let your temporary lack of writing prowess stop you from soldiering on to the next part, where you might really create your masterpiece prose.

Now, that's not to say that you should publish or even share crap. You shouldn't. Keep your crap to yourself. Like my mother says, you have to have a decent "crap-o-meter" in order to be a writer; without it, you won't have the filter necessary to publish a polished work. But it's okay to write something not-so-great, and then come back to it later when you've had a decent separation from the troublesome thing.

I wish I was brave enough to share some of my bad work with you, but I've got my pride. But I feel you, my fellow tortured artists. And when I learned--because it did take practice--to push past my dry spells, writer's block, and cruddy writing days, I got a novel done. Not only that, but it was something I was proud of. It took a good bit of editing to get it refined enough for publishers, but the first step was getting it all on the paper. 

It's okay if you write something, only to go, "What the...?"

Keep writing!

P.S. I seriously do fantasize about being on Ellen's show. Come on, you know you do, too.

What do you think? Do you write past your tough spots?


  1. Truly insightful and inspiring words :) I read the blurb on your novel and it sounds intriguing. I have a free weekend coming up and I am hoping to get some reading in. I'm looking forward to diving into "Lunula."

    Keep posting words that all of us "indie" authors need to read to keep pushing forward!

    Debra Ann Miller :)

    1. Thank you, Debra! And I do hope you get a chance to read Lunula. Please let me know (honestly, of course) what you thought of it. It's exciting to hear from other writers so I can learn and grow as I go.