Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Books and Writing -- Don't Be Afraid

A few days ago, I chatted with a writing friend of mine. She's working on her first novel--a wonderful story! During our conversation she admitted to frustration. It was taking her a very long time to write her book. As she explained the problem it was clear that her mental editor was in control when her free spirit ought to be. My advice . . . Don't be afraid to write crap.

Did I say that?

I sure did. Write crap if that's what it takes to charge ahead and get your story from you brain to the page. There are a lot of us who have to wrestle our editor to the ground if we want to create. Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for revising, tightening and polishing, but that time is not during the visionary and inspired stage of writing. If we want the inspired story to emerge our minds need to be free of editing constraints. If we maintain the controlled word crafting of the red pen it's as if we've harnessed a bird and then expected it to fly. Not possible.

Set yourself free and simply write. Take a few minutes to envision your scene, then place your fingers on the computer keys and leap into the story, typing as fast as your fingers can go. Put down whatever comes into your mind. Do not stop for any reason, not for misspelled words, stupid ideas, paragraphs that don't work--nothing, just keep going until the scene is complete. You can do this for each chapter, scene . . . or work through an entire book this way.


Once that's done, bring your editor out. Use it and craft your story. Have fun. And don't forget to fly.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. Anonymous9:45 PM

    Such a great blog piece. I have always wanted to write but I am afraid my editor is always in full steam. At my book club I say I would make a better editor than a writer b/c I am driven crazy even by the books I read where there are errors in time and continuation. But I am going to share this blog w/ some friends of mine who do write and let them see your wise advice. Thanks for sharing it w/ all of us. Julie from Idleyld Park

  2. That's one of the funniest and freeingest ?? sentences I've read in a while--How profound: "Don't be afraid to write crap." Well thank you, my dear friend. I may just as well start writing some more, git er dun, and THEN clean er up! Thanks. I needed that, as I haven't been writing much more than my column for toooo long a time. I do love you, my friend!

  3. Cheering you both on. Get to writing!

    And thank you for the big smile I'm wearing. It helps lift my wrinkles upward. : - )