Relinquished patterns and typical ways.
Free expression. Uninhibited honesties. Open mic, no script, completely off-the-cuff.
This is what writing is about. This is what is impressive. Someone who writes wildly, not perfectly.
In my coaching sessions with aspiring wordsmiths – who by the way, flaw me with their creative flare and ‘let’s really unearth this voice of mine’ attitude – there is an assumption that has them stifled into inaction.
Picture this: Ballpoint pen hovers nervously just above the notepad. Sentences and full paragraphs are erased fervently as the backspace button is repeatedly tapped with growing frustration.
Deep huffs and restless sighs of defeat.
Defeat to what?
Yep, that curly beast. The one that screams, ‘Surely there is a better way to say this’, ‘This is not your best work’, ‘Are you serious? You consider yourself a writer? Really?’
Taking this one step further, some of my clients have fallen into this familiar trap: the assumption that your writing must be perfectttttt before sharing it with the world.
I am here to bellow a very loud noooo to this conditioned way of thinking. No, no, no. And one more extra no, just for emphasis.
You find great delight in squirrelling away in your notebook for hours on end, making connections, voicing beliefs and declaring grand statements. There’s no hiding it – writing adds to your life. It emboldens that affinity to something larger than you.
As a fellow artist then, let me ask you this: What role does perfectionism play in your writing?
It plays no role.
Because creative expression by definition IS imperfect.
As an artist, you are rouge, unpredictable and constantly evolving, and your words are a means to exhibit this.
Think of it this way. What is creative about being perfect? Zilch. Full stop. In fact, you’re attempting to compare two polar opposite thought bubbles. There is no correlation.
Do you want to lure in your reader and capture them through your genuine communication? Do you want to offer up a form of escapism? A place for your reader to frolic in the world as you see it?
Leave the pre-determined structure at the door and the deeply considered synonym list even further at bay.
Revel in what it means to create – wifi turned off.
Listen to what you really want to say – in moments of divine and utter silence.
Let the rambles, ramble. Let the directionless thoughts be directionless. Let there be congruent parts and let there be space in between.
You and your writing have a relationship that’s hard to define. It is certainly personal and it is certainly ever changing.
Sometimes there is no stopping the stream of thoughts and ideas, which make their way to the paper before you (sometimes at 4am in the morning, mind you!), and other times, it couldn’t be more difficult to squeeze out a word or two that make any kind of sense.
Accept the process and lay in creative svasana (as Danielle LaPorte puts it) when you need to.
This incredible gift is yours to honour. Express in a way that feels most authentic and true to you.