09 May 2013

Writing About Writing is NOT Real Writing

Writing prompts, writing prompts, writing prompts.  I can look at a million of them but if I don't put them to work for me, no writing will ever actually get done.  I think sometimes the reason I don't write is that I'm too much of a perfectionist.  Maybe this will come as a surprise to some who know me who see my tendency towards the haphazard in many areas - but I assure you that writing is not one of them.  When it comes to writing, I have started a million journals and ripped out the first page, which is hysterical considering these are *for my eyes only*.  I start a letter only to write a paragraph or two and ball the whole thing up and shoot it like a basketball into the wastebasket.  If my words feel awkward, unless there is an assignment to turn in or a grade at stake or something that *must* be written, I will easily give up on anything short of perfection. 

In one of my favorite writing books Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott urges aspiring writers with these two pieces of advice:
  • allow yourself to write sh*tty first drafts
  • write only what you can see in a 1" picture frame
I love these two pieces of advice. Do I do either of them? No. I don't allow the first drafts to be really, really, really bad.  I write, and backspace and re-write and edit even in the midst of what I'm writing.   I stay obsessively focused on the big picture.  I fret and worry about where I am going with whatever I am writing, the end result, the bottom line, the motivation behind what I feel the need so desperately to say to the world.

Lurching back into the blogging world has given me an opportunity to do this again, to just put something down!  I don't intend for it to be anything of any ultimate significance to anyone else, but a forum to get myself writing again.  Once upon a time I was a prolific blogger and stopped in my own best interest when my blog became a place to fall apart in a very public way when my life imploded.  I am in a totally different place in life now, and I think I'm ready to throw myself back into something I loved so much - and in even this small way, discipline myself as a writer.

So here goes..... and thanks for those of you who have always encouraged me along the way. 

1 comment:

  1. I am not a writer but I have a love for blogging and sharing my days, thoughts, and feelings in that way. I know my writing isn't perfect, so I just strive for it to be a reflection of who I am. :)


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