One of the downsides to reading blogs and books on the craft of writing is the quantity of advice that can be accumulated. It’s all valuable, but sometimes it’s all too much! There comes a point when we have to turn our backs on the information and venture off on our unique writing journey.
I have several sources I’ve trusted to help educate me on what constitutes good writing, but every so often I reach for my keyboard (or pen), and freeze. Where to start? What to include? How to best tell this story?
It’s not writer’s block, but a temporary, immobilizing panic, and it can happen whether I’m facing the first draft or the umpteenth revision — an agonizing paralysis while I hover on the edge of uncertainty, wanting desperately to get it right.
There’s only one way to move past this point. I have to make it personal. I remind myself that it’s a matter of trusting my instinct. That, and knowing if I’m not totally happy with the words I’m about to place on the page, I can exercise my control of their destiny and delete them.
The whispering Inner Critic that suggests I’ll never get the words right has to be ignored. I turn my back on the confusion of information gleaned from writing books and helpful blogs, plop a smattering of thoughts onto a page and give them permission to take flight. Without self-censoring I just write, because the only way to know whether the words will be worthy or not, is to fling them out where I can see them … give them wings. Once they’re on the page they can be fixed. But there’s no hope for them when left locked behind a paralyzed pen.
Am I alone with this phenomenon or do you sometimes face a similar moment of anxiety? Does ‘free writing’ help loosen your Inner Critic’s grip? What other ways do you have of dealing with it?
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”
that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim.
Romans 10:8 (NIV)
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