Permission to Suck


I’ve been writing for the past four or so hours and I’ve managed about 1600 words.  That isn’t a lot.  I haven’t been writing straight, mind you.  I keep taking breaks to drink, surf the net, post status updates on Goodreads or comment on other people posts, worry about my diet, post to Twitter, consider cutting fresh lettuce in the garden, changing out the movies in the DVD player, consider starting a new game of ME (I know!), chat with my kids, play a few games of Scramble…

It’s just that I know that everything that I have written sucks like a vampire.

Do you know how hard it is to just let yourself suck?

Learning: the meaning of SUCCESS PistoCasero via Compfight

In the past, I wouldn’t put down a word unless I had good clear pictures in my head and knew almost to the letter what I wanted to write.  Let me tell you, going for perfection will promise a wretched bout of writer’s block if nothing else will.

So, I have this story, Bilqis, the first installment of The Hinterland Chronicles that I want to write.  Bilqis has been talking to me for years now.  At first she was just whispering, then chattering, and now she is straight up yelling in my head.  Oh the echos.  I need to write her.  I need to tell her story.  Good lord, I’ll go nuts if I don’t.

So, new tactic.  I said to myself, “Khaalidah, just put down the bones.  You’ll clothe those bones in lovely supple flesh later.”  Yeah?  Sounds simple.  Right?

Only it isn’t.  I feel like a failure for not being just so, perfect, exceptional right out of the gate.

I’ve been reading books about outlining (Thank you K.M. Weiland, your book is great.) and editing, and how to this or that.  A couple of posts have come to my inbox recently that basically say “just do it”, so here I am, just doing it.  And I am sucking like I’ve brushed my teeth with alum.

But, despite my apparent ADD, and my moaning, and my sadly low word count after so many hours, I feel exhilarated.  After all, 1600 words is better than 0.  Yeah?  Okay, so get out of here and let me write.  And hey!  Don’t you go wasting time.  Do something you’ve been meaning to do, something you keep making lame excuses for not completing.  And while you’re at, suck as hard as you please.

  • Oh yes! Giving ourselves permission to fail, and by extension, get better, is the hardest thing we can do. But oh so necessary to life isn’t it?

    • khaalidah

      True that.