Friday, 2 October 2015

Not because you can't write...

I follow @AdvicetoWriters on Twitter and today spotted this quote on my feed:

"People have writers block not because they can't write, but because they despair of writing eloquently." - Anna Quindlen
Ding ding ding! Yes! Whenever I sit down to write, I find that I give up because what I've written isn't 'good'. When I was in my flow, as I described in a previous post, I didn't stop because I thought what I was writing was good enough.

I think that when you're writing a lot, you break though the stilted first few hundred or thousand words, you get into the flow of things and your writing improves through familiarity with the story, with the motion of writing, with the increasing fitness of your writing muscles. It's like shoes - you have to break them in. For the first couple of times you wear them, you might hobble for a while, you might have to dig out the blister plasters, but persist and you'll soon have a pair of shoes as comfy as slippers.

But writing through the rubbish words is... Really bloody tough. Like being forced to look back at pictures of your late teens/early twenties when you thought that pigtails, rainbow beads and crop tops were an epic fashion statement. It's uncomfortable, cringe-worthy and you'd rather just pretend it had never happened, thank you very much.

Perhaps I need to stop reading back over what I've written, till I can feel that moment when the words give around me and I can sink back against them, confident that I'm back in the swing. Perhaps all writing is, is perseverance.

1 comment:

  1. I have been paralyzed by re-reading. I have considered tossing some of my notebooks in the trash and making a fresh start. Anne Lamott says that shitty first drafts are a part of the process. I feel that I am stuck there.