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Stop being precious about your writing

Writers are intensely imaginative at devising reasons they shouldn’t write.

I have emails to reply to.

I need to finish reading this book about writing.

I can’t start this project yet, I’m not good enough and it has to be perfect.

I’m guilty of all of the above. Especially that last one: I’m too precious about my writing.

Your blogger, before her career change.

Your blogger, before her career change.

Lately, my excuse is that a book project in my imagination is going to be my lifetime’s crowning achievement and there is no way I could possibly begin to type a word toward it now, not until I have put myself through many paces with research, writing courses and hours of interviews.

But none of that is true.

Nothing I write this year is going to be an incomparable manuscript. Anything I do write now will be at best a rough draft, and I can make it worthy of public eyes later. Research and other information gathering is, yeah, integral to the book, but I’ve got enough inside me to start right now.

Writing is not raising a child. Editing is not mental anguish. Outlining isn’t choosing the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life complaining to about writing.

If you want to write, go write. Then outline and research and edit and edit again and talk to people about your ideas and scrap the first chapter and re-write it and then write some more and dream about it and then don’t even think about it for a month and then re-read it and love it and keep writing.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

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5 Comments

  1. “Outlining isn’t choosing the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life complaining to about writing.” Well done. 🙂 And, by the way, I agree. Anything you write will be better than the things that never get written!

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  2. Oh there are so many reasons to put off writing. I like what you said about, ‘at best this is going to be a rough draft’. 99% of what I write first time around is rubbish! sometimes I think, ‘oh god, I am useless at this writing thing’, then I remind myself that the times I have come up with something ok is after rewriting and I have to start somewhere.

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  3. Pingback: Miraculously, the key to starting a new piece of writing is to start a new piece of writing | Zoey Writes

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