…”Beginning writers do themselves a disservice by worrying about readers turning pages. Beginning writers need to keep their focus on writing pages, and worrying about anything that sounds like a rule is self-defeating.” – Portable MFA in Creative Writing by New York Writers Workshop.
I am currently reading the above captioned book and it’s excellent. As much as the book is dedicated to teaching the craft of writing, the authors realize that beginning writers just need to write.
So, this week is all about focusing on quantity over quality. At first, the goal is just to get the words on the page – by any means necessary. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way has a saying that goes something like “I will take care of the quantity; God takes care of the quality.” I had a screenwriting professor that agreed, but said simply “Write crap.”
While I realize I do not have a personal deity leaning over my shoulder editing my work, and while I also realize that my ultimate goal is not actually to write crap, I believe these quotes wholeheartedly. Many people bask in the label “perfectionist”, but I agree with those who say that perfectionism is just a mask for fear. If you just keep tinkering with it, you can avoid actually putting it out there and risking rejection.
Excellence is the goal, not perfection. But to get to excellence, you have to be willing to write crap first.
So this week’s goal is to write crap. A little every day. Who’s with me?