craft, fiction, musings, thoughts, Writing

Punching Through

If there’s anything we’ve learned about writing, it’s that you have to keep at it. Even if you feel like your current work isn’t where you want it to be; even if you feel like it’s boring, or flat, or unimaginative; even if you feel like bashing your head against your desk, you have to keep writing.

There are a lot of cliches from the sporting world relating to this (“you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”), but it also holds true with writing. Namely, you don’t write any story you don’t…write. It sounds obvious, but it’s an important thing to remember if and when you get stuck. Sure, your writing might not be where you want it to be, but you can’t truly work on improving it until you knuckle down and write it. Just get the words on the page. Even if it’s basically stream-of-consciousness, we often find that it’s much easier to edit, shape, and improve the things we actually have down on the page, versus biting our fingernails and worry about writing a “good” sentence.

The next time you’re feeling stuck, or blocked by feelings of inadequacy: just fight through it. Write. It sounds easier said then done, but it’s really quite simple: you add a word, then another. When you have enough words, you have a sentence. Etc. Etc. Etc. See what happens. The most amazing part of the writing process is that you can always go back and edit what you’ve written before. You have unlimited license to make mistakes. And that means you have an unlimited license to take risks.

W & W Sawday

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