Monday, July 9, 2012

Almost Home & a Guest Blogger

i'm on my way home today. i hope you've enjoyed the awesome guest bloggers that have helped me out while i've been away...but they're not done yet! since i'm still on the road, i've got kim from fox you (very much) taking over for the day. take it away, kim!

Howdy folks!  Myname is Kim and I can be found blogging about nothing in particular at FoxYou (Very Much) and, in 140 characters or less, on Twitter.

A ginormous thank you to Carlia for letting me hang out with you lovely people!  (A bigbigbig thank you to her for her patience with my ridiculously busy summer as well, I appreciate that!)

(Image @ colorfully)

When I asked Carlia what she would like me to write about, she suggested writing.  (Or teacup poodles.)  She’s a writer and she advised that many of you, her amazing readers, are writers as well.  (As I doubted that the majority of you keep teacup poodles, I decided to stick to the subject of writing.)

I’m a writer. I want to be a writer.  I have wanted to be a writer since it first occurred to me that people were actuallyallowed to do that.  As a job!

Writing doesn’t come easily to me.  I don’t think it comes particularly easily to anyone, but some people are actually motivated to step away from the couch.  I have a difficult time of ignoring the seductive call of the siren Procrastination.  I live for her.  If my house is clean, I bake.  While the cookies are in the oven, I fold laundry.  When banana bread takes the place of the cookies, I mow the lawn.  Of course once that’s all done, there is dinner to be made and dishes to be washed.  When I have a writing project I’d like to get done, I am all kinds of domestically productive.

Thankfully, I have found that this year is a bit different.  I made a decision earlier in the year to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things.  It surprised me to realize that when it came to writing this meant that I was allowed to not be a perfectionist and that amostly un-readable first draft was not only okay, it was a universally accepted norm!  (It is understood, I have read, that first drafts of anything are always drivel.  They’re supposed to be.  They’re first drafts.  Re-writes and edits are where things get a bit more presentable.)

I don’t think I’m the only one out here who has a hard time accepting something that’s less-than-perfect. This is not (at all) to say that when I lay my fingers to the keyboard pearls of wisdom roll forth, they don’t. What I mean is that it’s really not easy to give up listening to your inner critic tell you that the idea is worth less than its immediate execution.  At the point of First Draft the idea is the goal – if it’s messy it can be cleaned!

Once I learned, and accepted, that my first drafts are expected to not to be all lollipops and unicorns* it became easier to ignore the siren song of la belle dame sans merci, Procrastination.  If my writing didn’t have to be perfect, neither did my house.  If I didn’t let the weight of over-achievement push against my shoulders, I didn’t have to shy away from the stress of possible failure. If I’m writing, I’m succeeding. The pleasure is in the craft. After all, it’s not like I let anyone read what I write!  (That’s just crazy.)

Have a lovely day, folks! May your pens always be moving and your houses never completely tidy –write on!

*Take, for instance, that I am on the fourth draft of this post as I type.  Yippee-kai-yay!


Regina of Live Delightfully said...

Dropping by from Sarah! I'm one of her sponsors too this month. Nice to "meet" you! Happy blogging!


Sarah Evans said...

I totally hear you there. I procrastinate like mad!!

When I have serious work to do my house is the tidiest it has ever been.


Jennifer M. said...

I've been (thinking about) writing the next great American novel for the last 20 years. I totally get distracted by Perfectionism!! You make an excellent point that first drafts are supposed to be terrible. That's where you hash out your ideas and characters and roam around in your writing until something makes sense. It's only in the next few drafts that things need to get tighter and more readable. I think I assume sometimes that "good" writers write perfectly on the first try, but that's probably ridiculous thinking. Lol.

Kim Matheson said...

@Regina - thanks for the blog lovin'! :) Nice to "meet" you, too! Have a great day!

Sarah - absolutely. It's seriously the best possible motivation to tidy. Sad as that is.

Jenn - yes. It has taken me YEARS to be okay with a bad (first) draft. It's why I didn't write for SO LONG! And yeah, "good" writers have bad first drafts, too. Have you read "Bird By Bird" by Anne Lamott? If not, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's a great, great book with some pretty awesome perspective (on writing, life and first drafts). :)

Thanks for reading, folks! :)

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