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On Writing (or not…)

I love writing.

I love the thrill of divining the perfect word to slip into a sentence… the energy rush that follows from sculpting a well-crafted phrase… the deep satisfaction of rounding off a finished piece.

I love writing.

But sometimes… these days, for instance… I allow myself to be intimidated by the process and, as a result, I don’t. Write, that is.

I start out with a hint of inspiration and an abundance of great intentions, but all too soon give in to the fear of not being able to finish “the perfect piece” and, as a result, barely start. I have far too many blog posts started and saved as drafts… somehow, I need to let go of the notion that everything I write for public consumption needs to be a polished gem and just write.

So, this is me, trying.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Elaine October 24, 2009

    Being a perfectionist sometimes comes at a cost. Sometimes it's best just to leave something as a "raw" piece and at least let people read it and enjoy it for what it is rather than no one ever reading it at all.

  • Laurel Regan October 24, 2009

    I think you're right, Elaine! I need to learn to do just that.

  • Mozette October 26, 2009

    I'm a writer of books and poetry; and have found that with my poetry, people have tried to make it picture perfect when it's perfect in its raw state with the imperfections. Think of your blogs and writing like a work of art… leave the imperfections in it so that people can see the real you and your mistakes can become a part of your character and work. Then, you can relax more and not be so much of perfectionist at it.

    If you'd like to read up on my blogs, go ahead. You'll see a marked difference between 'Fry Nelson' (which is a sci-fi action thriller; and it has to be A1 perfect because it's a book I've written) and 'The Book Craze' because it's just about what I've been up to around my social circles. Then, there's 'My Reading List' which has a different feel to it altogether when I'm talking about books and authors.

    So, don't be afraid about making a mistake in your writing. It's a craft – yes – but it's something to have fun with and enjoy. It's how I've seen it for a long time. And seeing I've met a few authors in my life (and believe me Wilbur Smith is a lovely man once you get past his strict security!) they all have the same outlook about writing – it's supposed to be fun not a chore. Well, not until you proofread it and edit at the end.

    Wilbur Smith told me to write from the heart in the first draft, then when the time comes, work on the with your mind (and give your mind 'yes or no' questions otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy!).

  • Jen Pearlman October 28, 2009

    This post is great! I completely understand what you're saying! When you love "the word" you want to treat it with care…. I've unfinished drafts as well. Blogging has helped me get over my perfectionist tendancies, yet, I still find I'll edit a post, already posted 😉

  • Laurel Regan October 31, 2009

    Mozette – Thank you for sharing your perspectives… lots of food for thought! I'm hoping that NaBloPoMo will help me get past the feeling that every post needs to be perfect.

  • Laurel Regan October 31, 2009

    Jen – Glad you liked my post! Oh, and I edit "already posted" posts too, LOL!

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