Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Challenge, Day 28: Harping on That Again
Pre-editing your thoughts can really stunt your writing. In the initial stages of a writing piece I will often try to get the information from my brain and into words and make it sound like a polished, finished piece as soon as it hits my word processor screen. It does not work like that! Trying for perfection at the first crack results in frustration and an incomplete piece of writing. Think about it. When you do a jigsaw puzzle, you don't pull the pieces out in sequence, fitting each new one to the last one until you've got the finished puzzle. Nor do you dump them out all at once and expect them to miraculously find their mates and assemble themselves. No, you have to dump all the pieces out first in one messy pile. Then you spread them out, turn them over, pick them up, put them down, pick them up again and try to find the place where each belongs. With writing, you won't write half of what you meant to if you don't let all your ideas tumble out onto the page first - you might be missing some key pieces if you don't empty the box (your brain!) before you start the final assembly. It probably won't come out pretty as a whole, but dump out a big pan of gravel first. Later you can pick through and find the nuggets worth polishing. There's plenty of time for editing later. Initially do not try to make it sound finished, just write it exactly as you think it as each thought pops into your head. Let it out, and you'll have much more to work with!