Crappy writing. Everybody’s doing it. Published, unpublished, if you’re writing a MS you’re doing some crappy writing.
This is meant as a pep talk, I swear. I’m having one of those crummy weeks where work is hard and I’m cranky and tired and have a million things to do. Every time my phone rings I want to throw it out the window. Work, you expect me to work? Write, you expect me to write? Be a member of the human race, I’m supposed to do that too? I’m jealous of my dogs right now. They have the freaking life.
When I’m in one of these moods and I start writing I get tunnel vision. I hate the things I put on paper, but I write them anyway. I get stuck, convinced I don’t understand deep POV or my character would never, ever do that and then I whine to my critique partners, because hey, the whole point of having a CP is to get some free therapy. Then I go on Facebook because I’m procrastinating and can justify that type of procrastination as “building a media presence”. I have to limit my posts though, because all my brain can think of is “I need more coffee” and “screw everybody”. What can I say? It’s a miracle anyone puts up with me.
Then I see the following posts from other writers I admire:
“My brain escaped before dawn. I’m writing today but expect most will be gibberish. *sighs*”
“So after several rewrites, in every possible direction I could think of, I’ve come to the conclusion that the original version of the problem chapter still feels the most “right.” And I still haven’t a clue why. So, onward and upward. I have to give myself permission to write crap (which, as a control freak, I loathe), with the hope the characters will eventually take over. I am addicted to this process, the challenge of it all, but it’s a wonder more writers haven’t gone insane… lol”
The first made me laugh. The second definitely struck a chord. Half the time I let myself write crap while I’m in a bad mood, it turns out infinitely better than I’d imagined. If I give myself a few days distance and come back, I realize I was spot on. Even when it’s really, truly crap it helps me figure out where my plot isn’t going, who my characters are not, and what they would actually do.
Embrace the power of writing crap because you always have the ability to cut it out. Cutting has become my good friend over the last year. No matter what, your characters belong to you, your words and your style are yours own. You can write 2,000 terrible awful words, cut them and pretend that they never exist. Because you, as an author, have gotten to the point where you know you can do better. That’s a pretty awesome thing in my book.
So go forth and write some crap! It might turn out better than you expect.