An Ugly Start, A Beautiful Future…

The Great Writers’ challenge for today (Habit #7) promotes freedom to write something unpolished and ugly. We shouldn’t worry about producing something that’s flawless; we need to simply have a go. Let the creativity flow and write (paint/create) something, no matter how poor it comes across.

It’s all part of the process of becoming great, apparently.

You mean I can just hash some blurb out? Yes! It doesn’t have to be edited umpteen times straight away? No!

There’s something wonderful about this suggestion, something that releases the pressure from anyone who’s even vaguely got a bit of the perfectionist lurking inside them.

Once more, I smiled as I realised that this is currently the way I already work. I posted a couple of comments about it on Jeff Goins’ webpage, and have decided to paste it here too, in case it helps any other writers…

This [writing ‘ugly’ style] has generally been my practice in putting together each chapter of the novel I’m working on. I take a look at the brief outline of the story and simply start writing. When I’m mid flow and suddenly get hit with problems of expression or description, I usually insert a few ???? or [insert character description] into the draft and continue to write.

It’s definitely messy. But it gets the skeleton of a chapter complete – and there’s satisfaction in getting something near completion. Then I have time to go back later and try to fill the gaps. At that point, I’m not worried about how long I mull over ideas or possibilities. Or I can suggest a couple of ideas and see what my editor thinks.

Doing it like this, in true ugly fashion, avoids interrupting the flow of creativity – especially when you’re sure you’ve something really decent coming up soon. Don’t risk losing that train of thought – just keep on going with it.

It’s good to know that I’m on the right track with this challenge. I can do ‘ugly’ pretty well! It’s the sharpening and touching up part which I know I find a lot harder. Still, it helps to be reminded that most works of art start off quite messily.

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