Camp Nanowrimo month is almost over! So, we’re approaching the end of our “production” phase for this summer’s workshop. During Thursday’s session, we spent a lot of time listening to what people have written so far, giving a little feedback, and writing more!
For those writers who haven’t been as productive as they had hoped (most of us at the session seemed to feel that way), I shared another excerpt from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. This time it was the section on “Perfectionism.” This chapter is also excerpted in Signature’s “Writer’s Guide to Poetry.” (You can sign up for their newsletter and get the guide for free here.)
The need for perfectionism holds us back. Lamott’s stance argues for the pragmatism of the attitude “better done than good,” especially in combating writing blocks. Practice, practice, practice helps, and revision helps, too. Writers have lots of tools to deploy, so don’t leave the page blank.
A leading contributor to blocks and distraction from your writing purpose is fear. Insecurity and fear are powerful motivators. Fear can speak to you in your censor’s voice and prevent you from trying. Don’t be afraid about how good your writing is.
Just keep practicing! Get feedback, listen to what people say, don’t take any of it personally. Notice what is working and for whom it is working, and what is not working. Learn from those observations. Try new things. Keep writing.
This week’s prompt is all about your fear. Let’s confront it head on. Don’t let yourself use any excuses. Write a brief (a few words) description of the 5-7 pieces of your project that you are least looking forward to. Perhaps these are the sections you are scared of. List those challenging moments. Then, pick one. Set the timer for ten minutes (or longer). Write that scene now!
Remember, NO EXCUSES! Good luck!