I’m reading one of the Teach Yourself books about creative writing and one of the chapters popped out on me so much that I had to share it:
Don’t get it right, get it written.
I’m thinking of printing it and sticking it to the wall in front of me… along with a note saying:
TURN OFF INTERNET!!
You should forget the inner editor sitting on your right shoulder, forget the inner critic sitting on your left shoulder, forget all about grammar and spelling, forget structure and coherence. Get it down on paper first, from the “once upon a time” all the way to “the end”, after that you can start worrying if it’s readable or not.
Okay, it will be easier to re-write if you’ve written something resembling a story, not just a mad man’s scribblings. (Not that that wouldn’t make a good story… it probably would) My point is to put a bit of thought in it before putting words on the paper. But once the words are down, don’t you dare even look at them before you’ve written that wonderful “The End”. Otherwise you’ll probably be stuck at the same chapter tweaking it until it shines, and then you can’t be bothered writing the rest. The novelty is out of the story.
I don’t get it right, I get it written, if at all. My biggest problem is that it often stays that way, because I move on to the next story and then the next. I hope that some day my inner editor will come back from the life long vacation it seems to have taken and help me polish up those manuscripts I have lying around. Until then I intend to write until my fingers bleed, because a whole story has been unfolded from a small idea and I just have to have to have to write it now! So the half finished stories are once again on the shelf, and I’m going to be kicking and screaming this beauty out of my brain until I can write “The End” on it and then dump it in a corner of my computer and wait a couple of months or years before I look at it again.
I’ve also dabbled with the idea of getting up one hour earlier and write before I go to work or start my day… so far all the writing takes place after 10pm. It’s like that’s the time my brain goes in fantasy-overmode and sprout the best sounding sentences ever. Wonder if it’s reprogrammable? I’ve never tried to write the first thing in the morning. I always intend to, but my computer automatically connect to the internet so I get usually stuck on facebook or reading blogs and whatnot. Okay, yeah, I’m blaming my computer for my own lack of discipline. I have to work on that.
Now, onward and forward! Forget getting it right, it’s getting it written that matters!
BIC HOK TAM!