Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Let's Write Crap!

Two weeks ago, I didn't do much writing of any kind. Not even blogging. I barely rewrote one chapter of my WIP. I would think about said chapter, make notes about said chapter, but when it came time to rewrite said chapter, barely anything came out. I rewrote it in fits and starts, deleting chunks and redoing it, inching my way through the chapter. Until Saturday, when I decided to go ahead and write crap.

Writing crap felt wonderful! I crapped my way through it. I knew what I was writing wasn't great, but writing crap is better than not writing at all.

-It provides a base. You can always revise crap; you can't revise a blank page.

-It illuminated bigger problems. There's a reason I couldn't make my way through this chapter and instead wrote crap. If the scene is set up well, with conflict and reversals and clear motivations, then I shouldn't have had such an issue. I will address my crap on my next round of revisions. Noted. No more dragging my feet. Now I can move on and finish my draft.

-Maybe it wasn't crap after all. Upon rereading, my crap wasn't as crappy as I thought. At first, it was bad, but then the crap gave way to semi-decent writing. It's not my best chapter, but that's primarily because of the bigger problems mentioned in point #2. The actual words aren't an abomination to the English language. That's good to know.

So next time, when I'm sinking into procrastination mode, I just have to tell myself to charge ahead and write some crap.


  1. Are you sure that what you were writing is crap? If you liked it, then someone else will too. This thing that we all highly subjective. One man's crap is another man's treasure.

    1. Very true! I didn't love what I wrote, but I am my harshest critic.

  2. I think anyone who is creative is their hardest critic. I'm at a liberal arts college, which is attached to one of the best art schools in the country. So many of my arts friends (Illustration, Fine Arts, Photography, Animation) think their work sucks. They are their hardest critic. I know I am my hardest critic and I feel like I am the most accomplished of my Creative Writing major friends (I have sent out query letters lol). Although it took me to send out query letters to realize I hadn't really edited. Whoops! LOL.

    So I think maybe your work isn't crap really but maybe its not the best it can be....

    BTW Thanks for stopping by the blog the other day, Phil, I really appreciate it :) Today I'm talking about my Work in progress if you want to stop by.

  3. I think it was Mooderino's post mentioned something similar, regarding the importance of getting to the end.

    Your analysis of your situation sounds so spot on. Fits and starts can happen but it's the pushing through, even if that pushing through is getting the "crap" out, that is important. Then, forward motion is still happening. You've probably managed to get the ideas unclogged, so to speak, bu writing crap. And I love how you mention that you can fix crap, you can even delete, but what the heck can you do with a blank page except stare at it in the hopes with the words would suddenly appear on their own. Though that would be nice.

  4. Someone gave me a shirt that says, "Even if it's crap, just get it on the page." Appropriate, yes? :) Great post!

  5. I agree! I saw Jane Yolen speak yesterday. Her philosophy is "BIC-Butt in Chair". She says your muse can't find you if you don't sit in your chair everyday. Just write, and the rest will fall in place.

  6. Writing crap can be incredibly liberating. I'm glad you're letting yourself do it!!