My mother just recently posted a meme to my Facebook wall. It was from a writing FB group, and the text of it read “Focus on the story, not the sentence.”
My response: “But…but….but, I must make that sentence perfect. And then, because I changed *it*, I must go back and make ALL the preceding sentences agree with what I just said.
And while I am doing that, another thought occurs to me about how to make this other particular clunky thing work better, and now I have to go through and make changes to the appropriate sentences that *it* touches on.
And that is how I can spend four hours on three paragraphs.”
Mom: “I think that may be classified as OCD!”
I suspect other writers do this same thing, at least to an extent. The trick is, of course, to keep writing and writing and writing and then go back through for editing.
I have not yet managed that trick.
I think what I am doing now, sitting down at least every day or so and putting pen to paper (or, rather fingers to keyboard), is a good start. It is better than I had been doing while in the Pit of Despair.
Anxiety sucks. It sucks all the will and life and words right out of you.
So, being able to sit down and write again is a blessing. And there has been a tickle of fiction mixed in there too; not just my normal whining that I do here.
At any rate, writing = good.
Writing fiction sections = very good.
Learning to not overanalyze every single thing I do/write = also good.
As a way to motivate myself, I am going to try and put up some snippets of the words that I do write.
You know, and keep to the actual premise of this blog in the first place.
4 thoughts on ““Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” -Salvador Dalí”
The answer to your last question: ANYTHING I DAMN WELL PLEASE! I’m glad you’re writing. Creativity breeds more of the same and builds inertia. It doesn’t matter if it’s “good” or “perfect”… what matters is that we get it out and get those juices flowing. I think the need to be perfect in every action is actually a self-defense mechanism of the ego to give us excuses NOT to do what we truly want.
Right now I am staring down the K-level ski slope of writing. I know I can push off; am pretty sure I am going to crash out, but at least I will get moving again. 🙂
There appear to be two broad categories of writers: those who let fly freely and then return to edit, and those who edit as they go. Like you, I’m primarily in the latter camp. Each style has its potential drawbacks and strengths, and there’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence sentence-by -sentence as long as it doesn’t paralyze you. So keep doing what you’re doing, girl!
Sitting down, actually writing (even a small amount) – every day.
That is the plan.
And thank you! It’s always lovely to hear some positive feedback.