Write Something That Ain’t Worth A Damn
You know what’s worse than writing something that isn’t worth a damn? Not writing.
I can accept that the desire to write comes and goes. I can accept that the well of stories that a person has needs to refill from time to time. I know that on occasion my fucked up psyche doesn’t have something to bleed onto the page. (I also know the rule of three when illustrating a point. It’s a trick I’ve picked up from preacher stereotypes.) You know what I can’t accept though? I can’t accept when I stop myself from writing because I don’t think a piece is going anywhere. Well, actually, I can, and do accept it. That doesn’t make it right, though.
I’m mostly talking to myself, what else do writers do? Oh, right, they write. So… maybe I just don’t publish things. That’s a cop-out too though. There’s so very little at stake when publishing online these days. Who’s going to cast a disapproving eye? Mom? If Mom is the kind of Mom who would cast a disapproving eye at something you post online, then she’s the kind of Mom would would cast a disapproving eye at anything you do, forget about committing a few words to the aether for all the world to see.
I wish we all had great stories to write all the time. I wish there was an emotional impact to what we write, every time we write. I wish I could remember that thing about the rule of three when illustrating points. You know what? Sometimes we’re going to write crap. We’re going to give in and push through a top ten list of link bait. Sometimes we’re going to wallow in self-pity, and sometimes; sometimes it rains.
You know what? You shouldn’t listen to me. I shouldn’t listen to me. People write crap. People write a whole lot of crap. It’s okay. That’s how we get better. That’s how we stop writing crap. We get that out of our system. It’s an Authorial Enema. Expel the crap so the good stuff, the ripped and bleeding bits can fall on the paper. Hell, sometimes there may even be flowery and rainbow bits that come out. I’d like to think so, anyway. The world has enough ripped and bleeding people. We could use a few more top ten lists about why your cat is the best cat in the world.
So you know what, that guy that said ‘Write Something Worth A Damn’? Fuck him. Just Write. It doesn’t mater if it’s good, bad, or horrible. Just write. Pen to paper, fingers to keys, hell — dictate it to Siri if you have to. Words need to come out. There’s a pressure to words that none of us should try to resist. You know what a writer is? A writer is someone who isn’t so hung up on ‘writing something worth a damn’ that they let that idea stop them. A writer is someone who puts the words on the page, no matter how crappy those words are. A writer… is someone who has internalized the rule of three and uses it to great effect.