Writers Gotta Write…Right?

I love writing. I always have. All the parts, too. Make believe stories, opinion pieces, even the occasional essay. I wasn’t always “good” at it, but I l loved it. I would take a 10 page essay over a 50 question test any day. I even enjoyed my grammar classes. I went as far as diagramming sentences in the books I read at night. What could be more interesting than an author’s word choice and the placement it has in a sentence. Every detail, chosen with care.

Words have always impacted me. Big and small. I like how certain words stick out on a page-big and unusual, but full of life. I like when I don’t know a word and I rush to the dictionary (or Google, let’s be honest) and learn its meaning. It’s like a collection in my brain that I can always come back to and find use for them.

As a teacher, I read dozens of new “kid books” each year. Last year, I purchased “The Word Collector” by Peter H. Reynolds at the book fair. After skimming the pages I knew it would be well loved-if not by the kids, then me.

This book felt like a glimpse into my mind and reignited my passion for words and their arrangement on a page. I realized I wished I could have written this book. I felt like someone was peeking inside my mind. I felt seen. You might be thinking, “A children’s book made you feel all that?” Hell yeah, it did!

And just like that another sign was dangling in my face that my passions were leading me elsewhere.

I wanted to unleash my love of words on the world. I wanted to fill up pages and capture scenes with just right imagery. I wanted to write. And I did. I do. But it comes in spurts.

With all this passion bubbling inside, there is also a thick layer of perfectionism that I struggle to break through. It’s tough. It’s stubborn. It wants the best when all I can give is my best. I end up staring at that stupid, taunting blinking cursor. All the collected words banging around in my head unable to spill over the pages making beautiful puddles of sentences. All because I am afraid.

Of what, you ask? I don’t know. It’s laughable, really. I know that authors will say “just write.” All you have to do is start writing. So, what am I waiting for?

I’ll tell you: some damn advice about how to get over perfectionism. Ha! How about that? Anyone got some?

Please share.

I’m begging.

Sometimes writing about not writing is easier than sitting down to write what you want. *Nods to family member who wrote something similar the other day.*

I know I am not alone here, so for real, any advice is good advice. Please. And thank you…

One thought on “Writers Gotta Write…Right?

  1. Ah yes, diagraming sentences. Word nerds unite! This gives me all the feels. ALL THE FEELS. Words are my best buds!

    Any good writer knows how to procrastinate and stare longingly at that page. That’s where we shine! I mean, sometimes, if the mood is just right, I’ll clean my whole house and then clip my sweet dog, Mai Kai’s toenails instead of facing the page. (Like, who does that- clip their dog’s nails- I mean? If you aren’t a vet? My pup can’t stand it, sweet boy.)

    I don’t understand this resistance… but it seems to build excitement! Anticipation. So that story or article or whatever needs to come out, comes out. One of my students (I use that term loosely since I am not a teacher, I am a workshop leader) once used the reference “puking on the page” when she first sits down to write so she won’t self-censor. She gets it all down.

    And I just loved it. Violent. Graphic. Seems about right, though, because it must come out. Even if it’s forced.

    Perfectionism is not always the enemy. When it stops you from actually writing, that b*%# needs to be tamed. You can do it! IMHO, and always my best advice- we write right through it. That’s how you tame it. Write jibberish if you have to, but write we must!

    Have you read Anne Lammott’s Bird by Bird? Stephen King’s On Writing? Those books are dope! Check them out if you haven’t.

    Like

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