The First Draft Will Always Be Rubbish…..

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And so will the second. The third too will, probably. But that’s okay.

Some days you’ll write one paragraph after another only to realize you don’t have a fucking clue what you are doing. By the time you’re done you’ll want to slash lines across the computer screen. Other days you’ll simply stare at the screen and you still won’t have a fucking clue what you are doing.

Sometimes you’ll read something wonderfully inspiring and go – ‘Wow, I want to write like that!’ A while later, you will read something appalling and think, ‘Good god, who writes like that?!’ Both times you’ll realize you have not written anything in days. But that’s okay.

At times reading great work will make you question your own ability. You’ll feel diminished by your own perception: of another’s greatness and of your mediocrity. Other times you’ll be gripped by an even worse emotion – fear – when you read work that you despise and wonder, what if I can do no better? This too is okay

Upon reading the things you’ve written in the past, you’ll sometimes cringe. Sometimes you’ll smirk. Sometimes you’ll laugh. Or roll your eyes. But all of these reactions are just fine. (Except for a wistful sigh – that is not okay).

There are times you will not want to write – AT ALL. You’ll do everything you can to avoid having to type out a sentence that is your own simply out of fear that it may not turn out to be good enough. But good enough for whom? For yourself. Because god forbid you write one sentence then another and another and a whole paragraph, and many paragraphs after that and when you’re done with all of it you realize just how mediocre and pointless it all is – and the last thing you want is to be writing meaningless drivel and now you’re like all those writers you despise. Because your standards have always been so damn absurd that nobody could live up to them, not even yourself. Because, what if, ten years down the line you read something you had written ages ago and find a typo? A garish, unmistakable typo – like a horrendous pustule on a beautiful face – sitting there for years and years, on work that you loved and laboured over, for everyone to see and point at and laugh. Oh good god!

STOP.

It’s okay.

Sometimes you don’t want to write simply because there is nothing to write about. Nothing worthwhile anyway. You have nothing different to say. Everything has already been said before. What more can you? How differently can you? You’ll just be another page, another paragraph, another line in a colossal heap of pages all floating about on the world wide web. Seriously, do you know how many blog posts are written everyday? 5671. The world can survive without another. What difference will one more make anyway?

Your vocabulary isn’t all that great. You make typos. You are too lazy to proofread. It’s too much work anyway. To give form and coherence to each random thought that comes into your mind. To sit with it for hours, if not days, dissecting it with words, with metaphors, with the right punctuation. To keep a neat little train going. To stay focused. To make it sound just right. To think, type, think, delete and type again. And all the while, to not judge yourself. It’s exhausting.

You’ve done this for long enough.

The words are in my head. Isn’t that enough? Is it that important to have them on a screen?

They’re better off in my head.

You’ll think. You’ll argue. You’ll reason. You’ll plead.

And then finally, you’ll write.

And then finally, everything will be okay.