On Writing

The act of creating something is almost universally accompanied by certain trepidations. In creating something you are, in effect, laying yourself bare for the world to see. To create is to become vulnerable to critique. Others will judge your work and, despite your best efforts, some may view it unfavourably, even subjecting it to ridicule.

Creating anything therefore requires the courage to move beyond these insecurities and to accept that vulnerability. That’s not to say that such feelings will disappear from the psychological landscape (they are more-or-less permanent fixtures), but they cease to be obstructions to the creative process, which is often messy and haphazard.

Writing doesn’t need to be an arduous undertaking. It can be an adventure. Don’t be afraid to play with words, to experiment. Some things you try won’t work, but others will. So write that first draft, even if you think it’s rubbish. Don’t expect everything you write to be brilliant or eloquent or praise-worthy; some things won’t be. Don’t write for the ‘perfect’ reader; write for a real reader. Don’t wait for the ‘perfect’ words; you’ll be waiting forever. Give yourself credit for bad drafts because at least you’re writing. Good drafts may be gratifying, but there’s much to learn from bad drafts. Keep experimenting.


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