Hand writing

If you’re a visitor of GamerSushi, the video game blog I pen with some hilarious cohorts, then you’ll know that I’m on a big blogging schedule kick at the moment. As a result, I’ll be using a content schedule here at What Eddy Writes, in order to give myself some guidelines about the content I’ll be posting.

Mondays: Writing about… well, writing.
Wednesdays: Writing about what I’m reading.
Fridays: Flash Fiction

We’ll see how that goes, won’t we?

So, for our inaugural “on writing” post, I wanted to talk about a specific phrase that’s taken hold of me lately, in regards to the silly words that we write, and the methods by which they’re conjured out of us.

In order to write, we have to give ourselves permission to do it.

We have to give ourselves permission to do a lot of things, really. In first drafts, we have to give ourselves permission to write poorly. Quickly. Without regard to what she will think, or how he will turn his nose up at this cliche character or this plotline that is less subtle than Sam and Frodo’s not-so-fleeting gazes. We have to give ourselves permission to write rubbish, to let it stink up the page. Permission to wade through the story like some kind of bog, knee deep in its muck until we wrinkle our noses in disgust.

We have to give ourselves permission because, really, who wants to spend their time wading in bogs?

And really, that’s not even where it stops. In second drafts, we have to give ourselves permission to cut that one gleaming diamond half buried in that putrid swamp, wedged in between your half-baked theme and robotic romantic interest/love puppet. We have to give ourselves permission to realize that maybe the story is actually about something different than we thought it was.

But it goes beyond drafts. It even goes to our habits.

I discovered recently that the best way for me to write a rough draft is to do it by hand. It makes zero sense, except that somewhere in my brain the neanderthal scribbling of ink on dead trees is somehow less permanent than words that can be unmade in the blink of an eye. But something about the deadly blinking cursor of judgment always stops me in my tracks, keeping me from moving forward. I found that if I give myself permission to let my writing be scratch, to make it easy to cross lines through it and make it temporary, then I was suddenly more free to write.

And we all have these quirks, regardless of hobbies or obsessions. We write or run or sleep or read or paint in certain places, at certain times, at certain cycles of the moon or only when we’ve sacrificed a handful of virgin toads. You get the drift.

What I’m saying is, figure out what you need permission from your crazy self to do — and give it. Even if it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world, if it helps you to write (or juggle or knife fight with bears), and lets you produce whatever it is you love producing, faster, better, more frequently… then that permission is worth granting, my friend.

So what permission do you have to give yourself to get more things accomplished?

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