Ernest Hemingway said ‘All first drafts are sh!t.”
This is true, and it will always be true. Why? Anything that is hewn out of pure thought is going to be rough! It is going to be rough, unpolished and be frustrating in some fashion. When it relates to the work of writing, you need to be prepared to confront those same rough, unpolished, frustrating things! Of which, will result in the next draft of the thing which started as a thought!
Where we as writers get in trouble is when we believe that we cannot get over how ‘rough’ the first draft is, and will be! When it comes out clumsy, dry and more wide than we thought.
Yet, this is also fine.
Yet, this is bound to occur.
Yet, you must keep going.
The Smooth Out is the dedication you will have to finishing what you have started! Completing what you began, and making sure you say what you meant to say before. In the immortal words of the impossibly talented Neil Gaiman: “Make it look like you knew what you were doing all along.”
This is a question that I believe is at the heart of every writer. I believe this the infinite thing we all chase–often. It is the thing that we strive to capture a little bit a time. When we allow our minds to wander to the far off places, doing the far out things, we get more confidence in what we desire to write about!
Who doesn’t want that?
Who doesn’t want more confidence to write about what they want to write about and not just about what people think they should write about?
Chase the Robin.
Unlock the doors.
Use the key.
The world is waiting…
One of the best things that I love about writing is how your head will find from itself! Here is what I mean.
The more you begin to explore your own head, the more apt you are to keep exploring it. The more you explore, the more you want to. This is where you learn your personal writing patterns, schedules and where you want your niche is…and even if you want to change it.
Consider all the things that you do while you stretch out in your imagination as discovering what is behind a locked door. Your personal curiosity is a key! The bravery you have, that you muster, to uncover what was even hidden from yourself is what will propel you (and compel you in some cases) to keep writing.
To explore your own writing, and work on what would make your own writing better!
You have the key! Use them.
Give the doubt no mercy…there is no more room for it.
One of my mentors during my undergrad (shouts to Dr. Wall at UM-St. Louis), told us to make ‘make time for the mind.’ When she told me this, I thought it was odd, but it was the most rational thing she could have told me.
When you choose to make this time a thing, when you choose to make time to wonder when you wander, and wander when you wonder, you will be amazed with what you come across. When you make this a habit, you are stretching your imagination–you are allowing it to flex. You allow it to tumble. You allow it to fall over and under thoughts…and those thoughts no longer become foreign to you.
A writer’s imagination should never be foreign to them. There can be parts willing to be explored, but it should never be ‘foreign’ to them. The goal of accessing your imagination in a greater capacity so that it doesn’t become a foreign place. Think of your time of the mind as a type of housekeeping. The more apt you are to clean it, you know what is there, what isn’t there, and what needs to be there more often.
Make the time…you’ll be amazed what you find!