Friday, April 24, 2009

The Problem with Perfectionism

My writing's been going a little bit better the last few days. One of the problems I've been having (besides my brain turning to sludge) is that I kept finding myself sitting in front of the computer, thinking and thinking and trying to come up with the perfect sentence or the perfect word without actually WRITING anything.

I realized that when I wrote on the computer I felt like I had to produce polished, quality writing, but if I turned to my pad and pencil instead, I could let myself just spill out ideas without that editor's voice taking over the process. Then, after brainstorming all those ideas and letting them flow wherever they wanted to--often to surprising insights, it was not nearly so hard to turn that fertile mess into passable prose.

Of course, I already knew this. I do teach writing, after all. But it's funny. I got so involved in the idea of getting through that I forgot to do what I know.


Courtney said...

That's too funny. :) Let's see... the last advice you gave me about writing was "just get it all down, you can pretty it up later."

Stephanie said...

What can I say? Maybe "Do what I say, not what I do?" :-D