Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Are We There Yet?

Writing is a weird thing.  You sit quietly, take it all in, then dash off to put it all down.  We work it, shape it. We make it for us, and hope everyone gets it.

When it goes wrong, it can be crushing.   When it goes right, it can be bigger than our wildest dreams.

Photo Credit: N. M. Scuri
So what do we do? The highs are great, when they come, but the lows don't always help us. Writing is judged subjectively. It can be hard to know while we're writing if it's any good, and the comments of well-meaning friends doesn't always help. Of course, eventually, you'll have to be open to constructive criticism when the work is close to completion, but the drafting phase isn't the place for it.

Perhaps we'd do better if we used a different unit of measure in the beginning. If you're an athlete, for example, your performance can be measured: speed, weight, points scored. There's no reason to use a similar measure.  Just like a workout regimen your coach or trainer would give you, you can set up your own schedule. Are you going to write 500 words per day? Great! Did you hit your daily word count every day this past week? Celebrate!

After everything is said and done, step back, then see if it was any good or not, but don't beat yourself up when you don't have to.

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N. M. Scuri

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