How to Make Writing Easy: One Nifty Tip to Sneak Past Perfection

    how to make writing easy

    Do you sometimes stare at the empty page?

    You want to write something, but your words are all locked up inside your mind.

    And when you finally write a sentence - you delete it. Then you write another sentence - and delete it too.

    You know what I mean, right? It's frustrating.

    I get this most often when I want to write something 'good'.

    Trying to write something good, immediately stops me in my tracks. It makes me feel self-conscious.

    What makes us feel self-conscious as writers?

    Let's get away from writing for a moment. Imagine that you're taking a shower. 

    Lot's of people sing in the shower. Perhaps you do too? Nobody is listening and you can let rip.​ It's fun!

    Now imagine that someone asks you to sing the same song in front of five hundred people. Different story, right?

    Your knees would knock and your heart would race. You'd feel like throwing up and your voice would come out all squeaky.

    Embarrassing...

    Why can you sing in the shower, but not in public?

    Because you suddenly feel self-conscious in front of all those people. And when we feel self-conscious, all out natural ability freezes up. 

    It's the same when you write. If you start writing a piece with your readers in mind, it's like singing in front of an audience. 

    It's as if your readers are already looking over your shoulder, watching you write your piece. Ugh...!

    I mean, who wants anyone to see their crappy first draft?!

    Of course, intellectually, I know that all first drafts are crappy. They have to be. Otherwise you're not going to end up with something good. I know that.

    But when I'm sweating in front of an empty page I won't want to know about crappy first drafts.

    You see, I want to write a crisp piece and not a floppy draft. I want to get the thing perfect right away. (If you're a perfectionist like me, you'll know exactly what I mean.)

    But...​

    To make writing easy, we need to let go of perfectionism

    The good news is that I've found a way to sneak past perfectionism. And I've made a video about it for you.

    I've used this trick for both non-fiction and fiction. It works for either because if you imagine you're writing just for yourself alone, your creativity frees up. 

    How to Use this Trick

    We all tend to get blocked at times. Especially when we write something we don't feel confident about. For example, my hangups are about my ability to write fiction.

    If I sit down to write a scene of my novel, I tend to give up after a few sentences because what I've written seems 'not good enough'. 

    However, I've found that if I simply tell myself about the scene (and scribble in my notebook), I can bypass my drive for perfection because I'm not measuring myself against other authors.

    When I just write for myself, I have the freedom to express myself. And it doesn't matter one flying fig whether it's 'good' or not!

    Once I've got words down on the page, I'm happy to start tweaking, cutting, and slicing to create something better. That's when I get the piece ready for my readers. 

    How about you? What's your experience of this?

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Yes. I give myself permission to suck–very effective at unlocking writer’s cramp.

    • Nice idea. Thanks Mary. I’m a complete perfectionist and this looks like a promising writing hack for me 😉

    • Cat says:

      Thank you for this tip Mary! I actually do this myself either by hand-writing in my notebook, or closing my eyes as I type on my keyboard.

      When I don’t see my words while I am writing, or do it manually, I can literally feel how I just let it go and receive the words that come to me without judgement.

      Thank you for this post and I love the video 🙂
      Have a great day xx

    • Yes, very important article for me. I want to make a career in freelance writing , also want to be a professional blog writer. I am looking for good writing tips and Mary Jaksch blogs are perfect source of inspiration….

    • Aki says:

      Hey Mary,

      Thanks for your sharing. Your tips help me a lot.

      Aki

    • Thomas says:

      Amazing video. I learn a lot from your writing tips.
      Thanks for sharing
      Thomas

    • Prime says:

      Hey Mary,
      Thanks for sharing the video, I really wanna move beyond perfectionism. And this is good.

    • Juliar Nur says:

      I want to learn more about let go the perfectionism.
      I myself want to look good. Making it look good really exhausting.
      We need to arrange words into paragraph, paragraph that connect from the previous one. And many other things.

    • Lisa Betz says:

      I learned this advice years ago reading Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird. But knowing it and applying it are two different things! I am getting better at writing bad first drafts, but I still freeze up, especially when editing and trying to write the “good” version.

    • Amar kumar says:

      Hey Mary,

      One of the most important rules when writing is to Trust in ourself. We have to know that we are able to successfully finish whatever we start, and to have confidence to always continue, no matter how hard it gets. If we are constantly doubting ourself, our work is going to suffer. We need to write whatever we feel in our heart, and ask others for their opinion, but always try and achieve our own goals. Eventually, thanks for sharing your experience with us.

      With best wishes,

      Amar kumar


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