If I had to pick one sentence that made my writing instantly and infinitely better, it would be this:
It's okay to write crap!
This one simple sentence has made such a positive difference to my writing that it's one of the first things I teach students at my workshops.
It's okay to write crap.
When I started out as a writer, I thought that everything I wrote needed to be perfect.
I would spend hours labouring over each paragraph, each sentence, each word.
I would get so bogged down in all of the polishing, preening, and editing that I wrote at a snail's pace - an arthritic snail's pace.
But what I wrote never ended up being perfect.
More often than not, it felt laboured and clunky.
And then one day, when I became so sick of the pressure to be perfect, I decided to try an experiment.
I asked myself, what would writing feel like if it was okay to write crap?
The answer, I soon discovered, was that it felt frickin' great!
No more picking over every perfectly placed adjective.
No more polishing every last full stop.
I wrote wildly and freely.
I let the words pour on to the page.
And if the 'perfect' words didn't come, I wrote down substitutes instead - knowing that I'd have plenty of time later to replace them.
And the best thing I discovered about allowing myself to write crap, was that what I wrote turned out to not be crap at all.
My words had a raw energy to them.
My ideas were quirky and off the wall.
My true voice rang through.
Try it for yourself and see.
Next time you sit down to write, say to yourself first, it's okay to write crap, and just see what happens.
I dare you!
The Dare to Write Workshop tour is now in full swing, with monthly workshops, Create and Motivate days and One Day Retreats all lined up. To find out more, step this way. Hope to see you at one of them soon . . .