On Writing, prt. 3: Frustration and Anger

So the anxiety of this morning has turned to anger and frustration. The words won’t come out and, when they do, they feel awkward and strained. I know what I want to say but I do not know how to say it. I believe I am in this place as a direct result of reading back over everything this morning and hating it. I keep hearing that same voice that I hated this morning in what I write today and I am now self-conscious. This keeps me from accepting the words that are presenting themselves to me today and causes me to wrestle with new ways of saying what I haven’t even discovered I want to say yet.

The solution? Keep writing. And not only this, but keep writing down whatever comes to me. It is a first draft and, as Anne Lamott has observed, “first drafts always suck.” Perhaps I need to adjust my attitude. I need to stop thinking about writing this awesome book and just settle into writing a sucky first draft. Then perhaps I won’t be as angry and frustrated with myself when I write something that seems to suck.

Lesson: I cannot write a great book. What I can do is write a sucky first draft. In fact I’ll bet I can write the suckiest first draft that has ever been written.

Whew. I feel so much better now.

Back to it.

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