Starting to write (or beginnings in general) feel good because they are the thought equivalent of receiving a laundry basket full of Cadbury Cream Eggs, in winter, with no one around to tell you no. It’s all pleasure and no consequence. And no one loves starting a new project like I do.
The problem is that I’m completely shit at finishing. Really. And lately, I’ve been rather depressed about it. That is, until I was reading about the Big Bang theory. And no, not the TV show.
So starting to write is like, umm, a big – bang. Right?
Not exactly. If you aren’t familiar with the Big Bang theory, let me paraphrase from Wikipedia
Dozens, or maybe billions of years ago, the universe was in a hot and dense state – expanding rapidly on a diet of kettle chips and unfulfilled dreams. Eventually, the universe was all like “Hey, there’s no more chips. And where’d all these crumbs come from?” The crumbs were the first subatomic particles and elements. Anyway, they all got together and with the help of some sticktoitiveness, quit their day jobs and became crazy awesome stars. And stuff.
So what does that have to do with writing?
As a new writer, have you ever felt pressure to be perfect right out of the gate? I have, and it creates this Jekyll and Hyde relationship with my writing that sucks! I have been living in awe of the brilliant people around me and thought that I had to be at their level to even participate in the conversation. Anyone else feel this way?
In reading about the Big Bang, something struck me. I realized that I am baby universe – all hot mess and dense, and yes, expanding rapidly. But here’s the catch – it took time for the universe to get from kettle chip to stars. I had been completely focused on creating the bang and forgetting the hard work of creating stars. And that takes time.
It’s okay to be less than perfect
So, I am starting to write again. This time, a blog. And unlike all of my other beginnings, I am giving myself permission to be less than perfect. And scarier still, to be public about it.
Writers have a strong community. And I suspect (although please correct me) that I’m not alone in beating myself up for failing to be perfect. All of us need to feel empowered to be great. But we also need to respect that it doesn’t happen overnight. I will be sharing my journey and hopefully you will be motivated and inspired. Just as I hope to be motivated and inspired by YOU and your stories.
We are all just learning
Frankly, as new writers, the odds are stacked against us. We need to stick together. Have you been paralyzed by fear? Worried that your writing is far from perfect? Please share below, as we can all learn from each other.