Lower Your Standards
Just off the phone with fellow writer Michelle Hamilton who said she was talking with a superstar writer who said that the best writing tip she had heard in a long time–and one that was making the difference in her getting work done–was simply: Lower Your Standards.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, it doesn’t need to win awards, it needs to get done. It needs to get published, it needs to exist, it needs to be born.
It’s an interesting viewpoint as recently I’ve been leaning towards the other end of the spectrum: Write Epic Shit. It needs to be your best work, it needs to turn heads, raise awareness, lead the pack … blah blah blah. But it’s not going to happen if you don’t get started. You might not start if the blank page is screaming at you, taunting you, “Go ahead, make my day.” Waiting for that epicness to drain from your blood vessels and spill onto the page. It’s not going to happen until you write something mediocre or–God forbid–bad and then guess what? You can improve on it.
But you did it. You hit publish.
Something to be said for this approach. Hell, there’s something to be said for any approach that brings you that much closer to doing something. I got off the phone with Michelle now about 7 minutes ago. Now I’m hitting publish.
Crazy, I know.
Photo: broken snowman glass ball at Empire State Building gift shop. If you don’t pick up the ball, it won’t break, but if you don’t pick up the ball, it won’t go anywhere either. There’s a risk involved, but you have to be ready to take it. This one no work out so good …