Write for the Love of it!
Writing – It is Perfectly Imperfect
Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, Writing Coach
Writing is one of those things that you’re drawn to or you aren’t… at least you might not be in this moment. I know many people who have written or been drawn to writing all of their life and I know people who have never been interested in it and suddenly get this need to write. So its one of those things that you just never know if you will get the bug to write.
If you do get bitten, what do you do?
The thing with writing though is that it can be scary. There are so many amazing writers out there, how can you possibly compete?
The truth is that you won’t. You won’t write like anyone else out there or at least you shouldn’t be. That is a good thing because you aren’t meant to. Your writing is meant to be unique to you. If you don’t start writing it can be tough to find your ‘voice’, your ‘style’ with writing. You need to write to be able to find what type of writing you really want to do and what type of writing really suits you. It truly is through doing that you will discover what you truly want to write and how you want to write it.
Writing is perfectly imperfect.
What this means for me is that we are all unique in what we write and how we write. No one has ever written a book, a story, a novel that they wouldn’t go back and make changes to. At some point, though, with practice you can get your story, your message to where it is really good and then you take that leap of faith. You let your writing take flight. Gulp!
You’re not meant to write like someone else.
You have this great idea.
You have this idea and you start playing with it. You get really excited and you might even start jotting down ideas.
Yay! That is so good. That’s exactly what you need to be doing.
But then… you get to a point that you can’t keep going on it. You feel like it’s crap or you’ve lost your mojo to keep writing. You’re not sure where to go with it anymore. It doesn’t sound all that interesting. What if someone reads it. It doesn’t sound like it did in your head. The excitement for what you are writing has kind of been flushed down the toilet.
Welcome to the club.
It truly is a right of passage as a writer and author. At some point you have to feel like what you’re writing isn’t very good or interesting.
But don’t despair. It truly is something I think all or most writers go through at some point. Talk to any writer and you will find that they have a lot of things they’ve started writing but have never finished. I know I do. I’ve published five novels but I have fifteen other books written that I’ve never done anything with. I have a lot of short stories, I’ve never done anything with. I have a book full of ideas that I’ve never even started.
I have written… and I have written… and I have written… It sounds like a bit of a waste of time doesn’t it? But truly it isn’t. It has all helped me to get where I am today. I think of it like those who train for the Olympics. There are hours and hours of training to just get good enough to make it to the Olympics. Well writing is the same, you need to spend time practicing if you really want to get good at it.
Just because everyone can sit down and write words, sentences, paragraphs, stories… doesn’t mean they will write well.
If you don’t write you’ll never get better.
So all of those things that I have written and never done a thing with, are a good thing. They have helped me to grow and learn more about me and more about writing and more about me as a writer. Because I have done so much writing I am now in a place where I am very comfortable with my writing. I know how to write a good story. I know how to tell it in a way that the reader feels pulled into it.
I did a lot of writing that I never did anything with because I felt it wasn’t good enough. The truth is it probably wasn’t. But none of what I write is really good the first time. If I went back and rewrote some of those 15 novels, they could be made into good stories. And some day I may do that. Because now I know that the first draft is just that, my first attempt. Now I can go back and tweak and change and rewrite so that the stories are intriguing and captivating.
The key is to keep writing.
“If you’re waiting for perfect, you’ll be waiting forever.”
So what do you think is really stopping you from writing?
You don’t really need to know what it is that is stopping you, just know that something is. You may have a lot of excuses – there are already so many books out there about this topic, I don’t have time, I’m not a writer, who’d read it…
I remember wanting to be a writer, an author but scared spitless that I’d never be able to be good enough. That people would read what I wrote and think it was terrible. There was always something more important than writing. Besides writing is just a hobby isn’t it? It’s not something that you can ever been good at? Or make a living at?
Those were things that I had learned about writing. Did you learn those as well? What other ones did you learn?
All that you really need to be aware of is that there is a hurdle between you and writing. Now you can do something about it.
Now that you’re aware, now what?
Now that you know, you’re all set to write.
Okay, just kidding. I wish it were that simple but it’s not. Because we don’t like things being simple.
You don’t really need to dig into why you have that block, just know that you do. Know that it is normal. And know that you can overcome it.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Give yourself permission to just write.
Practice. Putting words to paper isn’t that difficult but putting words to paper such that you’ve told a compelling story or a written a clear and concise message that impacts readers takes a whole different skill set. What you write doesn’t matter just write stories, write messages.
2. Know that writing can be an emotional journey
Sometimes what your writing about or the fear of being judged can be difficult. If you feel as if that is what is keeping you from writing, then find something else to write. Find something that won’t stress you and make it easier to sit down and write about. That one thing that you really want to write about might be too much for now, so save it for later when you feel more comfortable with writing.
3. Take writing classes
Writing is something we were all taught in school but the truth is that there is so much to know about writing – how to write a compelling story, how to create compelling characters, how to write about real life… There are so many levels to it to make it really good and it is always great to be amongst like minded people. You’ll be amazed how many feel like you do and how much easier it makes it to write when you are in a class.
4. Remove yourself from your writing
I’m sure you’re like me and take your writing very personally. So if someone says they don’t like or don’t understand something you wrote, you tend to take it to mean you can’t write. I know I did for a long time. I just kept seeing it as something wrong with my writing. It doesn’t mean that at all. It means what can I learn from what they’ve told me and are they my target audience.
The truth is that writing is perfectly imperfect. Every time you write something and then come back to it, guess what? You’ll want to change it. There comes a point though when you need to decide that what you’ve written is good, makes sense and is ready for others to read and give feedback.
Writing is perfectly imperfect. Jump in and join the writers club, you won’t be sorry that you chose to write. Always be gentle with yourself and your writing. It’s all about learning. You can do it.