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November 2, 2011 / Bika

So you’re feeling bad about your writing.

Hey. You. Psst.

Yeah, you. The guy/gal about to mow down your entire manuscript with the backspace key. The one ladling the sweet, sweet gravy of emotional self-abuse over your head as you delete your NaNo account/blog/Scrivener program/gdoc archive.

I’m talking to you.

You’re a smart, talented, funny person (suppress your self-loathing for a moment, sweetie, it’s OK) with a great story idea. Maybe it’s a novel; maybe it’s a short story or a poem or an epic ten-volume saga but whatever it is, you sit down to write. Next thing you know, you’re 4 chapters/3 pages/2 paragraphs/1 sentence in and already picking it over, wringing your hands at how awful it looks.

You give up. Despair comes. You eat an entire bag of candy by yourself in the living room with the lights off and when your spouse/child/mom/neighbor/cat comes in you cover your face and shriek “DON’T LOOK AT MEEEEEE.”

This is not a thing that has to happen.

I know it’s hard to see what your own forest looks like when you’re sitting at your desk, glaring at the trees. I have trees in my words, too. I poke at them and prod them and occasionally bust them into smithereens with hatchets and sometimes I even hate them. I know what it’s like to have a hate-on for your own creation. I understand you.

I also believe that most of the time–the vast majority of the time–it’s worth pushing through and getting that idea OUT of your mind and ONTO the whitespace.

Listen up, because this is important.

You can fix it later.

This part, the creation process, is all about putting the skeleton on the paper.

Your idea might end up with weird fleshy bits and extra butts and a Michael Jackson nose but you’ll have the bones of a story. Once those are in place, you can start the lipo and reconstructive surgery and the hater gravy–within reason–can flow freely once more.

Until then, press on. Give your story the chance it deserves.

More importantly, take it easy on yourself. That awesome idea came out of your brain. Cut it some slack.

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7 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Hillary / Nov 2 2011 5:31 pm

    Write more, Whine less.

    This is an Iron Man test.

    YOU. ARE. IRON. MAN.

    ((This inspirational douchebaggery brought to you by the letters B, Q, and the number 9.))

    • Bika / Nov 2 2011 5:42 pm

      Iron Man writes the best steampunk robo-erotica I’ve ever seen.

  2. regpriest / Nov 2 2011 7:20 pm

    You are a joy and a delight. ❤

    • Bika / Nov 2 2011 9:06 pm

      And YOU are hilarious. Keep writing that book, because I’m dying to see it. (Get it? Dying? Heh!)

  3. Joanne Clendening (@journalartz) / Nov 3 2011 12:32 pm

    Thank you. I am having a very hard time getting started on NaNo this year. I think it’s partly because my 12 year old daughter has insisted that she read it… and therefore I’m editing right from the beginning. I need to stop that and just tell her she’ll have to wait so I can make sure all of my writing is PG. Thank you for reminding me it’s all good, and it can be fixed.

    • Bika / Nov 3 2011 12:57 pm

      Glad I could help! Doubt is a real productivity killer and I hate to see good ideas go to waste. Added bonus: by following through on a big project like this, you’ll set a great example for your daughter. If her mom can do it, so can she!

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