Struggling with Writer’s Block? Overcome It with a “Really Crappy First Draft”
When Anne Lamott wrote about this concept in Bird by Bird, her brilliant and hilarious book about writing, she used a slightly more graphic term than “crappy” – but the point was pretty much the same.
Do. Not. Edit. Yourself.
At least not initially. Nothing will kill your creativity or even your desire to write at all like a raging and over-active inner critic.
So shut him (or her) down. Now.
Instead, when you start any writing project – simply focus on getting it all out. All of it. Every random thought that might be going through your head. Don’t worry how it looks or how it sounds or if it’s properly optimized.
Or even if it makes any sense at all.
There will time to fix and polish all that later. Your job at this stage is simply to let the thoughts flow and go wherever they may lead.
Then, once you get all those random thoughts and ideas commited to paper (or computer) – walk away for a while and do something completely unrelated to what you are trying to create. Let your subconscious mind start working behind the scenes for you. (It will).
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to bed with nothing more than a hodge-podge of loosely associated ideas running through my head only to wake up the next morning able to see connections that weren’t there the night before. Walking away for a while will let you see your work from a fresh perspective and will help you glean the most interesting and useful tidbits for your final copy.
The whole point of this exercise to make sure you don’t inadvertently kill your best ideas before they have a chance to incubate and flourish.
So the next time your inner critic threatens to sabotage your content creation efforts – why not give the “Really Crappy First Draft” approach a try?