Don’t Write Well, Write Now

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If you want to be a writer, stop worrying about writing well. Instead, write now.

Earlier this week, I was blocked. I tweeted my friend Andrea Cumbo, “I have low creative confidence right now. I've forgotten how to write fiction.” There was guilt associated with that statement. I thought, You've forgotten how to write fiction, and yet you write a blog about writing? What a hypocrite.

Write Now

Photo by Rennet Snow

 

So guilt tripped into action, I sat down and wrote a few sentences.

They were bad. Really bad. I almost threw up in my mouth they were so bad.

But still, I wrote a little more and when I felt I had been through enough torture, I stopped, satisfied I had written something at least. I didn't write well, but I wrote.

A Mantra for Blocked Writers

Common sense tells us that if we can only write the the perfect sentence, the perfect story, the perfect novel, we'll succeed at this writing thing. The agent will come, the publishing contract will follow, and why not a bestseller as the cherry on top.

However, the surprising truth is that the best strategy for actually writing that perfect novel is to write piles and piles of crap. Quantity beats quality. It's better to write ten bad sentences than spend the same amount of time trying to write that perfect one.

The myth of perfection freezes you. You end up getting nothing done.

So instead of trying to write well, write now.

Let that be your mantra.

When you get blocked trying to write that perfect sentence:

Don't write well. Write now (you might want to tweet that).

When you can't get the scene to work like you wanted:

Don't write well. Write now.

When the weight of your dreams of a perfection become a burden:

Don't write well. Write now.

When you're so tired you can't imagine writing well:

Don't write well. Write now.

A Happy Ending

Even though I was blocked, I went to bed having written something. Then, as I was trying to go to sleep, a scene slapped me in the face. I got up and wrote for thirty minutes. It wasn't amazing, but it was a good start. The next day, I wrote for two hours. The day after that, three hours.

I'm starting to write well again. But it never would have happened if I didn't start by writing now.

PRACTICE

Write now.

Write about whatever you want (your work in progress or an idea for a new story or a memory from your day).

For fifteen minutes, try to write as many words as you can. Focus on quantity, not quality. Post your practice in the comments section when you're finished.

Happy writing!

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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62 Comments

  1. Cole Bradburn

    This is so true. I was just thinking yesterday about how writing is a lot like walking. When you feel stuck, just keep putting one foot/word down after the other, and you will soon arrive.

    Great post Joe.

    Reply
  2. Kathleen Solange

    I saw W. Michael Gear speak at a writing conference years ago, and he referred to the way he wrote as the “vomit and mop” method. Cracked me up, but ever since I’ve tried to tell myself that I will have nothing to mop if I don’t vomit first.

    Reply
    • Diane Turner

      Superbly visual…ick!

      Reply
  3. Casey

    I’ve got notebooks full of bad writing. I wish I could see the practice notebooks of writers I admire so I could reassure myself that they are only human, too.

    Reply
  4. Katie Axelson

    I have to have a scene almost fully crafted in my head before I even get a piece of paper. This method usually works for me. Lately my WIP characters have been mad at me. When they came out to play the other night (yes, after bedtime… of course), I grabbed the pencil right away. The scene wasn’t pretty. It was overhauled as it was typed, but it was a start. It got me moving and it broke the feud those characters and I were having. I let them take control instead of forcing them to go where I wanted to go. My book’s a mess but we’re making progress.

    One of my favorite writing quotes is “Get black on white.” (Guy de Maupassant). Great advice, Joe.

    Katie

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      I like that quote. When you put black on white, sometimes it comes out messy. It sucks but it’s just the way it is.

      Reply
  5. LarryBlumen

    Excellent post, Joe! Hearing it from you gives us all hope.

    Reply
    • Diane Turner40

      Amen!

      Reply
  6. Tom Wideman

    Is it guilt or shame that keeps me bound up in a state of writer’s constipation? I know I’m guilty of not writing as much as I should, but it’s the shame that keeps me in a state of self-deprecating torment. It’s the shame that says, “You’re not a writer. You’re a wannabe, a poseur!” So, instead of fighting through it, I avoid it. I distract myself with Facebook or Twitter. I wrestle with the temptations of finding some porn. After all, if I’m already so full of shame, then why not dive into a pit of it. Then I shame myself for being tempted.

    But I’m moving forward from the pit of shame! I’m releasing myself from my self-induced bondage. And as a result of releasing myself, I am also releasing my characters in my novel. I have characters who are presently in the midst of some terrible circumstances, just waiting for me to write their escape. They are crying out for salvation, but I’ve been too preoccupied with my own life to worry about theirs.

    So it seems I am sitting at a crossroads in my writing. I can either live in the shame of neglecting my character’s well-being, or I can use it to motivate me toward freedom. I have realized that my life is full of strengths and limitations, but that doesn’t mean I can’t somehow redeem those limitations in my life and in my writing.

    If I am limited because of my fear of rejection, then maybe I can use that to develop one of my characters. If I’ve been limited from an overwhelming sense of shame, then perhaps I can pour that into one of my characters and explore how they wrestle with it, either constructively or destructively. My characters can actually teach me how to make improvements in my own life as we explore some of our limitations together. This could be a wonderful way for me to step back from my personal struggles long enough to allow someone else, even one of my own characters, to share their insight and wisdom with me.

    Reply
    • Suzie Gallagher

      projection of angsts onto characters – I am all for that!

      Reply
  7. Suzie Gallagher

    “It can be a lonely place,” Brian stirred his coffee as he spoke.

    She said nothing. There was nothing to say. She knew how lonely it was, sitting in the middle of a family that didn’t want you. She hadn’t expected him to say it, he was a man. Men were supposed to be empty of such thoughts, logic was supposed to course through their veins, not neoemotions and empathetic waves.
    Her mind drifted as she licked the swirl of steamed milk from her finger. Motivations for Brian’s concern were whirling through a check-list maelstrom; attraction – no, concern – yes, intervention – maybe.

    Brian’s coffee was becoming a black vortex. Had he gone too far in saying that. What had he hoped to achieve. He didn’t fancy her, she was his wife’s best friend, she was the person you ran to when the kids got a rash before heading into the doctor, she was the one you rang to bring in the washing if it was raining. She was the one that rang you to pick up the kids because she was running late, or that needed a lump of meat because she forgot to go marketing. She was on the list of friends that we depended on as a couple. Why does she not speak he wondered?

    Stephanie completed another circuit of froth and licked again, “Brian, to consider myself lonely within my matrimonial state, will not help any I don’t think. Yes it is true, with Dave playing away, it is lonely. This is not a new state for me though, as you know I was reared begrudgingly and oh bugger. Look I have to stay married, I have no income of my own, everything is in his name, including the kids and I feel safe in it. My safe might not be your normal, but it is mine. I have boundaries, don’t worry, I am not a punch bag as well as a doormat. And finally although I truly do appreciate your concern and Jill’s as well. You are good people. You are good people to me. Although I do like that you are concerned, please let’s not speak of this again. It is what it is. I am married therefore I am.”

    “Sure Steph, no prob, just letting you know we are here for you. I am here for you. Jill’s indiscretions were a long time ago, forgiveness sought and received, but I remember at the time, the sheer loneliness of the partner at home,” Brian finished his confidence and his coffee, shoved his chair back and saluted a goodbye.

    Stephanie drained her mocha and rose to leave as well.

    Reply
    • Suzie Gallagher

      As you can see I have no problem with verbosity, I just need a topic, or a word or an image. However the quality is unseasoned, raw and (how do you say dire, politely) …….

      I see my writing as BK or McD’s – copious amounts of fatty, flabby, unhealthy fare.

      Reply
      • Marianne Vest

        I like this Suzie. I wish I could write that well off the cuff. This gets a point across that probably many women sympathize with and it sounds realistic. I believe it. Of course your use of English is a big plus. A lump of meat, I love that.

        Reply
        • Suzie Gallagher

          thanks Marianne, no one ever told me my lump of meat was a positive. It is what I say to one of the boys each night – get a lump out of the freezer – never know what it is till defrosted!!! Human, animal,vegetable

          Reply
  8. Nona King

    So true that it’s better to just write. To get myself out of the “thinking too much about all the rules I need to remember”, I sit back and let my characters tell me their story. When I forget about the rules – or, rather, when I let them just stew in my writer instinct – I have so much more fun with the story as a whole. And sometimes it’s amazing how much better the writing is when you let your instinct have a crack at it!

    Reply
  9. Jmfthird

    So right after I read this excercise he calls and he and a friend are stuck out and they need a ride across town so they won’t get the dude they’ve been staying wiht in trouble with Housing and he goes, you know where I’m at? and I go yeah, man, I helped him move, I know where the apartmen is, and he just keeps goin’, he goes, now it’s at the corner of 30 and, and I say, man, I helped the dude move, I know where you’re talkin’ about. and he goes oh,. And he mumbles and I have to ask him to speak up on the phone all the time, man he’s a good thrasher guitar player, plays at a speed I find eviable and physically impossible, and he’s a good guy but he’s got a temper problem that probably masks a self-esteem problem. And I met him, I guiltily admit, in the drug scene when I was still using and I like the guy bu oh these BOYS, you know what I mean? Not that I’m so great, finally growing up at my advanced age, I mean I had one of the longest extended adolescences in the state, but this guy’s turning into a crazy-maker for me, but I still hope he’ll look at my lamp and fix it, he’s good at that stuff and I am clueless. Clueless! And my old man could fix anything around the house but he didn’t understand left-handedness, he was always yellin’ at me TURN YOU HAND OVER, LEFTY! And I got so frustrated I wanted to well but that’s a long time ago and now I am kind-of a mna or whatnot the definitions now are so blurred and I did not mean to go THERE by any means and I looked up Jonny Mercer yesterday on Wiki and he wrote the lyrics to Skylark for Judy and she got married to someone else to end their affair it almost reduces one of my absolute favorite songs of all time to know the words are about a specific someone but I can continue to take them in general and sort of wish it could be sung at my memorial service which will take place within the next three decades ago. Never mind, I am walking, jogging (sort of) and I feel strong today.

    Reply
    • Marianne Vest

      That sounds just like my sister-in-law on the phone except she isn’t talking about drugs and moving. She just keeps on talking rambling along. It’s very realistic. Was it hard to write like that, with that kind of non-stop rhythm?

      Reply
  10. Kathy

    I enjoyed the idea of just writing in order to get in the “flow” and if it is messy or downright terrible writing, at least it is a start. I write usually when I feel inspired or motivated to show my critque group that I can redo my chapters to be what would please them. This is not the way to become a diligent writer. My resolution for 2012 was the word “diligent” and I purposefully applied this to the area of writing. To date, I have 10 chapters written but only have two chapters critiqued. It wasn’t pretty as most of my characters were given low marks for their dialogue and development. I still need to keep at the work and in the process may find writing a joy and creative outlet. I’ll keep the phrase “Write Now!” as my motto to take writing seriously despite the road blocks and discouragement.

    Reply
    • Tom Wideman

      Ah, another people-pleaser. I like your resolution of diligence.

      Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Yes, Kathy. Keep going! Sometimes you have to push through before you cango back and edit. Good luck!

      Reply
  11. Pjreece

    Crap. That’s the magic word around this household. I’m writing a crap novel and my wife is writing crap poetry. We might start up “CrapPress”. There should be a genre called “Crap-Lit”. Oh, what freedom! The freedom to write crap. “Crap Practice.”

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      I love this. I would change our name to The Crap Practice if that wouldn’t affect the type of people who find us via google.

      Reply
    • Jacqueline Ada

      LOL, I should adopt that!

      Reply
  12. James Dibben

    I just finished a semester that really drained the creativity out of me. Thanks for this practical advice!

    Reply
  13. Laura W.

    Best. Advice. Ever. I keep telling myself this. Perfection is always for “later.” Progress is for “now.”

    Reply
  14. Karen S. Elliott

    My first drafts are always horrible. Just getting the butt in chair and typing typing typing is the best way – for me – for first drafts. Polishing comes later. This is great advice, and summed up so simply, “Don’t write well, write now.”

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Awesome, Sarah. You’re welcome. 🙂

      Reply
  15. JB Lacaden

    I exceeded the 15 minute mark with this one. It’s a continuation of my story from the previous practice. 🙂 hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing.

    ***

    Vinnie tapped me on the shoulder and I was finally broken free from her spell.
     
    “Hey Jack, Marko just stepped in.”
     
    I looked at Vinnie and found him smiling. “You all right Jack?” He asked.
     
     
    “I—I, yeah, thanks Vin.” I walked pass him and towards the bar but my mind was still occupied by the dame.
     
    When I reached the bar I saw Marko seated at the end of the counter. He was a big man–near seven feet of muscle, but as dumb as a rock, probably dumber.
     
    “You’re late Marko,” I said.
     
    He turned around and looked at me with his beady black eyes and that snarl of his that seemed to be permanently glued on his face–he had a mug probably even his mother wouldn’t love.
     
    “I ain’t got the cash Jack so fade away,” he said before turning his back on me. I laid a hand on his shoulder and stopped him halfway.
     
    “Now, you see here Marko, you came to me and asked for a service,” I lowered down my voice. “You asked for some nose-candy and I got ’em for you. Now you better pay up.”
     
    Tough guys like Marko don’t like it when you tell them what to do. I could see the fury building in Marko’s beady eyes. His fists were clenched on the counter.
     
    “I told you already Jack. I ain’t got the scratch. Leave before I mess up your pretty little face.”
     
    I’ve danced with guys as big as Marko before and I’m the one standing at the end. I wasn’t scared and I was ready to teach the big lug a very important lesson: you need to pay what your debts, especially debts you owe to Jackie Rivers.
     
    “Hey, come on now guys, the boss won’t like it if you cause trouble in the Cube.” Vinnie was back behind the counter and he had a worried look on his face as he continued to clean glasses.
     
    “Don’t worry Vin. Marko and I will step outside for some fresh air, won’t we Marko?”
     
    The big guy didn’t answer. He just snarled some more and stood up. I waited for him to move. When he finally started to walk towards the backdoor he said: “You’ll regret this Jackie. You’ll be eating through a straw.”
     
    It had just finished raining and the small back alley was cool and damp. The only light came from the moon and the solitary lamp post standing at the mouth of the entrance of the alley way.
     
    I had my back to the backdoor of the Icecube and Marko was standing in front of me. The big guy lunged at me but I easily evaded followed up by a quick blow to the liver. He grunted in pain and swung his thick arms blindly. I ducked and I allowed my right fist to kiss his beezer. He stumbled backwards and I took two quick steps back. He knew I was no easy picking. I could see it in his eyes. But stupid guys like Marko don’t know when to back down. He charged at me again, and again I evaded.
     
    We were back on our initial positions—me, with my back on the door and him in front of me. I didn’t hear the door opening behind me. I didn’t hear Marko’s buddy creeping with a roscoe in hand. The next thing I knew Marko was smiling and I could feel the roscoe on my back.
     
    “Try to move and I’ll fill ya with daylight,” a raspy voice behind me said.
     
    I unclenched my fists and lowered down my arms. “A friend of yours Marko?” I asked.
     
    “Yeah I’m a friend. Saw Marko walking out with you. I recognized your face. Jackie Rivers. I knew you’re trouble and by the looks on Marko’s mug I was right.” Marko’s friend replied.
     
    Blood flowed down from Marko’s beezer but he was smiling. He walked towards me and planted a huge fist to my gut. I folded down in pain.
     

    Reply
    • Diane Turner

      I love the language, the slang that adds so much to the piece. Nice writing.

      Reply
      • JB Lacaden

        Thanks Diane. I wasn’t able to edit properly but im glad you liked it. 🙂

        Reply
    • Marianne Vest

      I like the tone here, it’s appropriate for this kind of street scene. You are really good at dialogue.

      Reply
  16. Lauren

    “Damn look at those abs. You think he works out?” Rosalyn was staring out her window.
    “Who are you talking about?” Sera pulled the curtain back.
    Be care” Rosalyn hissed back, “He might see us and that would ruin all the fun,” she paused for a minute, unless he likes that sort of thing and decides to take that towel off and parade around naked, man that would kick ass.:
    “Dear heavens Rosalyn who are you talking about?”
    “Jason, how else would I be able to see from my window, that I would want to oggle?” She passed a small pair of binoculars to Sera.
    “You don’t really think I would peep on our neighbor do you?” She began to put the binoculars down.
    “Oh don’t be a prude, just give him a quick peek and tell me what you think, gym body, naturally gifted or maybe he works out in his apartment,” Her eyes got a distant look for a minute, as her mind wondered to the delights of a shirtless Jason doing countless push ups as she sat on his back.
    “Earth to Rosalyn?”
    “Oh yes, as I was saying don’t think of this as peeping, think of it as an informal survey.”
    Sera picked the binoculars back up, and instantly, “Wow, I didn’t realize real people had abs that looked like that.” She pressed the binoculars closer to her face, as if that would bring the scene closer to her.
    “Yeah, I know, so gym, natural, or at home?”
    “Jason doesn’t strike me as the gym type, not vain enough, and I don’t think that can possibly be natural, so I am going to say at home work outs, and damn I bet like every day.”
    Rosalyn prodded her arm, “Give them back dudette.”

    Reply
    • Marianne Vest

      Ha, funny scene. Maybe he uses steroids.

      Reply
  17. Just B

    My Fifteen Minutes

    Have you ever acted without thinking? Done something before you realized what you were doing? I did today. Allow me to explain. I hadn’t been grocery shopping in a couple of weeks, so needless to say, we were in need of some, well, food. Without a list, I made my way through the store and forty minutes later, I was standing at the checkout with a full cart, right behind an older lady whose cart was only half as full as mine. It took her more than a few minutes to check out because she had a coupon for that bag of cat food and another for that particular brand of paper towels. I know they’re here somewhere, she told the cashier, as she dug down deep into her voluminous black bag. So I waited, patiently, because one day that might be me, unorganized, counting my pennies, digging in my purse for something that might not even be in there, and I would hope whomever is behind me has some patience and understanding for the little old lady holding up the line because she can’t find her coupons.

    As I waited, I noticed in the checkout lane right beside me, the Express line, 9 items or less, a young man had pulled up with his cart containing only a few items and a small child in the child seat. I guessed the child to be about 8 – 9 months old, a little girl, with wispy, light blonde hair and a tiny diamond stud in her left earlobe. I looked over at her and smiled, but she didn’t smile back. Such a serious face on such a little girl. But that’s ok, because after all, I was a complete stranger. The young man began unloading his purchases to the checkout counter. A quart of white milk, a quart of chocolate milk, a loaf of white bread and a bag of Doritos. The checker scanned his items through and announced “That’s $8.36 please”. I watched the young man take a card out of his pocket and swipe it through the card reader. I assumed it was a debit card. But then, I heard the checker say, “I’m sorry, but there’s only a balance of $5.54 on your card. You’re short.” I knew then that it wasn’t a debit card, but a card that meant he was on some kind of public assistance and his balance remaining for the month was running low. For a second, the young man didn’t say anything, and then I heard him say quietly “Take the chocolate milk and the chips off, please. I don’t need them”. It was then, without thinking, that I opened my wallet, took out a $20 bill and stepped over to the young man in the Express line. I said “Excuse me. May I help you out?” I handed him the $20, he took it and I stepped back into my lane as the checker had started unloading and scanning my heaping cart. The baby was looking at me, the young man was looking at me and the checker in the Express lane was looking at me. Then, the young man simply said “thank you” and handed the $20 to the cashier. I smiled and said “you’re welcome”, as the checker took the bill, opened the till and counted out his $11.64 in change.

    By now, my groceries were bagged, I’d run my debit card through, and the courtesy boy was waiting for me to follow him with my cart out to my car. I took one last look back to see the checker bagging all of the items the young man had had in his cart and I heard him say to the checker, “I guess there are some nice people out there.” And with that, I walked out of the store.

    As I sit here replaying it in my mind, I’m wondering did I do the right thing? Would I do the same thing again? I had opened my wallet without wondering what reaction I might get. How is he going to react to a total stranger giving him money? Offended, even angry? Even though the store wasn’t busy at the time, and no one else was waiting in line behind him or me that might have seen the exchange, did I hurt his pride by giving him money or was he putting pride aside because his little girl needed the milk? I like to think the latter. Did he appreciate it, yes, I believe he did. Was he surprised? He most certainly was, but then, so was I. But in that moment, I had some to spare, he needed help. It was a simple as that. It still is. No further analysis necessary.

    Reply
    • Marianne Vest

      That’s an interesting scenario. The plain matter-of-fact language seems appropriate to me for this kind of scene.

      Reply
    • Suzie Gallagher

      JustB – a nice simple tale with a simple truth – lovely

      Reply
  18. Bob Holmes

    Somebody somewhere said, “The real writing is in the editing.” So I write piles and piles. Somebody’s got to edit that stuff. 😉

    Glad you broke through!

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Yes, even though the writing is hard, sometimes the editing can be much worse. Thanks for the comment Bob. I’m glad I broke through, too. 🙂

      Reply
  19. Kiya

    “almost threw up in my mouth they were so bad.” Ha! Oh, I’ve been there.

    I have a sticky-note above my desk with the quote: The best flowers are fertilized by crap. Remember this, and give yourself permission to write a crummy first draft — Cecil Castellucci.

    Reply
  20. Mhspear

    I love to write, I love my family and my husband. I do some really stupid shit sometimes. Twenty years ago I let an article that used my writing as an “example” ruin my love of the craft. I am still dealing with that. I let the fact that my husband likes different styles than I write and he may never read what I write affect that I may never write what I want. I am a wuss. I need to over that damn woman’s words, yes they were only words but words hurt and has kept me in the dark too damn long. Recently I have started to write again, got off my ass and onto writing.com…again. Maybe this time…no no damn maybe about it this time I will be who I am and the rest of the world can go jump…it’s my life and I am a writer….there I feel so damn much better….thank you

    Reply
  21. RD Meyer

    No one ever has it perfect. The only way you get better is by wading through the garbage you have at first. Even a diamond starts out as nothing more than a lump of coal.

    Reply
  22. David Purse

    Great post. It reminds me of some advice I was given when I started blogging: “Write when you want to. Write when you don’t want to. Just write!” I’ve been writing more or less to the NaNoWriMo schedule lately as it motivates me to write and keep writing. I was sure that what I had was absolute rubbish, something to junk and rewrite, but reading it back, it’s not as bad as I thought. So maybe there is something to be said for Just Write!

    Reply
  23. Beck Gambill

    Oh my goodness this was a great nudge! I started out for my fifteen minutes and ended up writing a thousand words. This was just what I needed to get me unstuck. I was going to share my practice but I went way beyond fifteen minutes!

    Reply
  24. LarryBlumen

    For the past couple of months, in a burst of productivity, my muse has been transmitting hot and heavy. It started with a poem, “general lee’s dying dream”, and ended with a short story, “Billy hit the train”, both as yet unpublished.

    Now, the line has gone quiet. Nevertheless, with the example of Joe’s post, I am going to write something today—without help, which is to say, helpless. I’m going to write a blurb for my local hometown on-line ePaper—something about my father and one of my ongoing activities: “The Solitaire Project”.

    Just the thing for the hometown crowd. And I can do it all by myself.

    Reply
  25. Sjjjones

    Thank you. This was very helpful. Just yesterday I started writing my third book. Everything I wrote was awful. I thought, “Oh no! I lost my Mo Joe!” I shut my computer down and sat there for a second, thinking of how disappointed my readers may be with my next book. Yes, I was pretty pathetic. Mind you, I have even advised people to just write. I have told several people not to worry about whether it is good or bad, but I just could not seem to take my own advice unless it came from someone else. So, I thank you again!

    Reply
  26. Missaralee

    I really liked this suggestion to just start writing. I find a simple question prompt gets me going immediately. The first line or two is usually terrible but it starts a chain reaction of images and ideas that I suddenly can’t keep up with. My first favourite prompt is “If I were a writer I would write…” and the second is “what is the poetry of a body in motion?” The second might sound odd, but my interest is in the tactile elements of life so beginning by describing the poetry of movement usual sparks new ideas for stories I am working on.

    What is the poetry of a body in motion?

    Fixed in time and space the absolute perfection of our form is made imperfect. Having transcended the immobile clay of our creation, each breath that raises our chests, each flutter of eyelashes and each beating of our hearts is divinity incarnate. The raising of my arms is a salute to the tenacity of life. Each step of my bare foot is a victory over death. While I move, the darkness must wait to claim my spirit. One day, stillness will settle over my features in a serene mask of clay. That day is not today. Today I am poetry in motion.

    Reply
  27. Lisa Buie-Collard

    Love this advice. It’s so true and it does really help get the words rolling again no matter what goes down on the paper, or screen as that may be.

    Reply
  28. Jacqueline Ada

    I can relate to the elements of this post.  See I started of writing a story that I strictly wanted to turn into a screenplay, almost a year ago now when I didn’t consider myself a writer.  I thought I just summate a story and have a screenwriter interpret it for me.  The idea was to give the idea of the scenarios and the screen writer would take it from there.  It’s almost a year now and I’m still writing this story, now it’s been suggested I might as well turn it into a book and now that’s what I’ve considered doing (after all why not have them both)?

    It’s taking so long because I’m still intimidated by writing.  I take long breaks in between my writing because somehow I still can’t believe how I’d been able to come up with the piece I have so far, I surprise myself every time I look at my work and what I’d been able to create.  Truth is, there hasn’t been anytime I sat down by my computer to add more to my story that I have had any problem, not even writers block.  I have to keep discipling myself  knowing that fact.  The story just flows, because it’s mainly inspired, I never think of what to write before I write them, they just come to me while in the process.

    So I agree, I just have to write, and not worry about writing well.  Somehow I always come up with a lot of content.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Your very lucky then.  I hope you get to the movie stage soon. 

      Reply
  29. Scott Bartlett

    This is so true! I’ve literally gone months without writing anything because I was terrified of completely botching a project. Nowadays, I just try to remind myself that editing is a thing!

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Yes! Writers write. Pros rewrite. 

      Thanks Scott.

      Reply
  30. shalini91

    I can totally relate to this.. Even though my passion for the pen is relatively new n has had me in its clutches for a month and a half, the perfection burden is something i have often felt. In fact that’s precisely why i started looking up writing blogs and stumbled across yours.. This post is so comforting that i had to comment.. thank you! 🙂

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Wow Shalini. That’s so great. Thank you!

      Reply
  31. amrit

    hi everyone , this is amrit…i havenot met anything scary but i experienced this accident on a highway and as of now its the most scariest thing ever….and the alignment of the text is not proper…i dont know how to fix it….it is difficult to edit line by line

    It was the night of
    Saturday. At around 11 pm, we two friends were walking to our home from the
    movie theatre. The streets were illuminated by the street lights, helping no
    one or rather some occasional high-speeding cars. Shutters had been put on all
    shops. The otherwise peaceful atmosphere was disturbed, not by the often busy
    and chattering humans, but by a few barking stray dogs. We were walking down
    the foot path, muttering about the movie,
    reviewing the flaws and the awesomeness of the it at the same time, disturbing
    the peace of the silent road and gaining the attention of the not-so-busy dogs.
    The flaws of the movie were mostly the point of discussion. But the reality was
    none of us was interested in that discussion. It was only initiated to keep us
    occupied, since it was a two miles way home from the theatre. After talking
    continuously for about most of the time and then realizing that we are close to
    home, our conversation came to a standstill. Walking two miles with a quick
    pace had got our nasal system choking. We were attempting to inhale all the
    fresh air around us, making a huffing noise and weakening our lungs at the same
    time. The road ahead was going more darker as that part did not have enough
    lights to make everything look bright. That was it what I remember before that
    terrible accident.

    A sudden shrill
    voice reached our ears breaking the soothing silence of the night. A fraction
    of seconds later, a white car dashed the barricade from the opposite road,
    jumped over it, giving us a frightening enough scene to remember for the rest
    of our life, and came to a sudden halt. The front portion of the car were
    severely damaged. Smoke was rising from it. It seemed that one of the tires had
    been punctured. All this happened in just about a matter of seconds. We stood
    there, speechless not knowing what to do, trying to recover from the shock we
    just witnessed. Pacifying our fast beating hearts we slowly went near to car.
    It was an Audi. The blood on the front
    glass of the car was obvious. We stood there, in the middle of the road,
    stiffened like a rock. It did not took
    us long to see a head lying on the steering wheel.

    A person came out
    from the back seat. He was not that much injured, but nevertheless shocked by
    the mishap that had occurred not so long ago. He saw us and turned his head to
    look at the person in the driver’s seat. Quickly he opened the damaged door of the
    car and tried to remove the face from the steering. Meanwhile, a group of
    workers had gathered around the scene of accident, who quickly helped him to
    remove the person from the car. There was also another man in the back seat of
    the car, who seemed to be quite right, but one would have said he was also in
    quiet a bit of pain. But all the attention was on the man in the front seat.
    Luckily, he was breathing, but his head had been hit and blood was oozing out.
    Some workers stopped an auto and I believed they took to some hospital,
    accompanied the less injured man. The left out man was just sitting on the car
    and was making some calls. Moments later, we broke from the few people that
    have gathered and made our way home.

    Turning back, we
    took a last glimpse of the fateful place and suddenly, everything became
    crystal clear. It appeared as if time had turned its direction, taking our
    minds a few minutes back. The car was coming at a fast pace. At one point where
    the street lights were faint and dull, workers were digging the streets for a
    reason I did not know of. Having seen them suddenly the driver lost control and
    turned the steering wheel and ran over the barricade without much thinking.
    Hence, the accident. Having seen it through our mind, we both came back to our
    present state. For the last time we glanced at the white Audi. It was one of the incidents which shook my very heart and
    I wish I would have never been a part of it.

    Reply
  32. AnaidSkylight

    “Oh, that’s just great, another page full of crap” i said to myself while ripping apart the paper on which i had been writing.”Damn, just where exactly am i going with my life?”I felt like i was going crazy. My mind had been a complete mess for the last, what? 6 months, a year, 2 years? Damn, i don’t even remember. What exactly am i doing in this world? I can’t figure anything out. I can’t even write a damned short story. And what’s with that writing in the past tense? Why the fuck do all stories have to have a past tense? And why have i been taught to write everything like this since 5th grade? Uh, seriously, sometimes it seems like they make a contest on who can come up with the dumbest things to teach us in school.
    Oh well, what a wonderful day for hating everything is. Don’t you just love the smell of fresh hatred in the morning? I know i do. I have no idea why people consider that if you are rude and hateful you must resemble Satan himself. Well, maybe not really that. But, i just want to throw everyone’s crap right in their face and tell them how much they annoy me or how much they suck in some moments and how they are the most amazing beings in other moments. Ugh, life is confusing, or maybe there’s just something really wrong with me. And why am i sitting here ranting about crap when i’m supposed to be writing? Damn, now THIS is why i never get any work done.
    God dammit, i can’t even write a sentence. You know what? Fine, i’m just gonna sit here and stare at this piece of paper all day while silently whining and thinking about anything that is not related to what i have to do. Yup, that seems like a great plan. Oh my god, i have just discovered the secret to making the best of your life, because this will definitely help me solve all my problems and live life to the full! Now this deserves a medal! A flying talking dragon that turns into the hottest prince charming would better break through my window right now and congratulate me.
    What, nothing? So, my window is still intact? Oh, ok, Universe, i get your message, and you know what? I don’t like you either. I’m just going to sit here whining and wallowing in my fabulous self pity. Yep, that’s the magnificent way in which i’m going to spend this majestic sunny day. Because it’s a great plan.

    Reply
  33. Merrideth Page Mclaughlin

    When the bell rang, I was already in my seat scanning my chapter 4 notes. A couple of stragglers hurried in and clomped down into their seats. My science teacher started taking roll, and I said “here” when it was my turn without looking up. I heard the door of the classroom open and then shut. The sound of loud boots followed as someone walked in. Assuming someone had walked in late, I kept my eyes on my notes, cramming for the pop quiz that was rumored to take place this period.
    A few moments later, I heard Ms. Tinkle say my name. I glanced up to see her peering over her thin red glasses, with her outstretched arm pointing at the empty seat next to me. My eyes flashed from her to the girl that was standing beside her, and instantly my heart started to race and my hands started to sweat. I was usually nervous about meeting new people, but this girl was something else. Her sleek chocolate brown hair hung halfway down her back, looking as if she had just come from an overpriced salon. She had a friendly, perfectly painted, bubblegum pink grin pointed directly at me as she walked to the back of the room.
    She swung her backpack off her shoulder and to the ground as she slid into her chair, gracefully. Her piercing emerald eyes met mine. I gave her a slight smile and nod, then looked back down at my notes, realizing I had been staring with wide eyes, ever since I laid eyes on her. Her perfectly tanned arms were crossed on the edge of the table, and she was leaning forward. “I’m Penelope,” she whispered suddenly, as she leaned towards me, her arms still crossed. Her voice was hypnotic and sweet. “Hi, uh,” I whispered, glancing up quickly, “I’m April.”
    God, she probably thought she had just met the biggest idiot in the whole school. I fumbled with the notes I had in front of me, trying to slow my racing heart. I internally scowled at myself. The most gorgeous girl in the world had just transferred to our school and I had already ruined my chances of befriending her. No doubt everyone would be all over her, trying to learn her story. We have had a few students transfer out of our school, but it had been a while since anyone new had shown up here.
    Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her taking out a plain black spiral notebook and a pen that matched. She wrote the date at the top right corner and scooted her seat closer to the desk, sitting up a bit straighter. “Do you have a textbook yet?” I whispered as I leaned in, inhaling her soft vanilla perfume. “Shit.” Her face twisted up. How could anyone look that radiant while grimacing? “Uh, here,” I mumbled barely audible as I pushed my open textbook between us. She met my eyes and had the biggest smile. “Thanks,” she gushed. I nodded once with my eyes glued to the words in the textbook.
    Ms. Tinkle was going over a chapter, but I couldn’t pay attention. Not with the sound of my heart pounding in my ears. I rubbed my sweaty hands quickly on my black ripped skinny jeans and clasped them together in my lap. Hopefully, she just assumed I was nervous about something else in my life; something that had nothing to do with her.

    Reply
  34. FM

    Thank you Joe,

    You made my day and you highlighted my flaws. That’s about me. I was writing for online magazines until I stopped and said to myself that I don’t write well. I dshould not have listened to those evil inner voice.

    I am now back on track and your article is a reminder that I should continue to write eveb when it is “not well”.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

    Reply
  35. D-

    When I tried thinking of something, I thought of all the possibilities. I could write about the miserable day I had had. I could write about my pursue of music. I could write about what happened at school today. But, the requirement was to just write and I couldn’t think too much, so I am writing about the weird television show my younger sister has on about talking big-eyed puppies and a grumpy cat.

    Reply

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