Writer Habits- day 7: Ugly

It’s hard to start. Each and every day, it’s hard for me. At least right now. I am filled with ideas of what could be. These ideas are good, they are dreams of the books I want to write, the projects I want to bring to life, the places I want to put my effort. No matter how good these ideas are, they become something I idealize. They have to come out perfectly, other wise they are not what I dreamed of, not worth the effort, not something I start.

Thing is, birth is never a pretty process. When we start, we start ugly. Any beautiful idea or pristine picture of the finished, bound product in hand must give way to the rawness, the ugliness of the start. When that blank page is staring me in the face, when the courser is taunting me with it’s blinking, these are the times when ugly needs to win. I may go back and polish and refine my raw texts, but right now it’s time for the ugly. It’s time for the starts that feel awkward; the posts that feel way too forced; the book that only has chapters 3, 5, 6, and 7; the words that feel choppy, flat; the first drafts.
The works that are not yet done still need to be started. That starting is going to be raw, ugly, bloody, unfinished, in progress… but it’s still a start. Sometimes you have to keep it ugly for now, let it be a start. I can go back to it later, patch the holes, shine the shoes, smooth the rough edges. But for now, it’s time for the ugly, it’s time to start so that I have a draft, so that I have some raw materials to make shiny later. Right now, I dig in, start with the words I find for now, let it be a mess, let it exist as a mess. No creative work is going to pop out nice and clean. Birth is a messy, ugly process. But if I am going to bring out these words, this voice, it is going to be a birthing process. Raw. Unfinished. Ugly. But it is the start.

  • freewayhome

    You know what would also help? Go eat some pie. (but go see Men in Black 3 first so you understand why)

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