“Half of what I write is garbage, but if I don’t write it down it decomposes in my head.”
-Jarod Kintz.

Too many of you aren’t writing your books because you’re afraid your writing sucks. I’m not here to convince you it doesn’t. Instead, my advice to you is this – embrace the suck.

Embrace it, write through it, and then write through it some more until your book is done. It’s much more important for you to WRITE than it is for you to write a great first draft.

“The first draft of anything is shit.”
-Ernest Hemingway

“But sometimes you need to write through the shit to get to the great.”
-Christine Whitmarsh

If any author tells you their first draft is awesome, they’re lying. That being said, to take the edge off the suck a bit, here are some writing exercises you can do to let go of perfectionism, power through any creative blocks, embrace the suck, and above all, remember that writing is supposed to be FUN!

Open the Floodgates

Blocked? Keep writing… but not your book. Put your project aside, grab a paper and pen (or…. sigh… technology), and write about something else. Write the beginnings of a wildly imaginative sci-fi fantasy story. Write about a time in elementary school when you got REALLY good news. Write about your first job and what you learned from it. Become your own therapist and pour whatever words are in your head onto the page. Or, write about the time when the worst writer in the world was transformed into the best writer in the world.

Strengthen your Foundation

Invent writing exercises related to your book but aren’t actually a part of it. For example, you might journal about the backstory behind a topic, scene, or situation in your book. Or, jump ahead to after your book is published and write imaginary reviews of it to help you define the ultimate reader promise.

Clarify Your Thinking

Write extremely short, almost childlike sentences about the subject matter in your book. The briefer the better. Think Dr. Seuss. One thought per sentence. Simple language will help clarify your thinking, especially if complex thoughts and ideas are causing you confusion and procrastination.

Don’t let fear of failing in the end keep you from starting now. Your future readers care more that your words, stories, and ideas touch them, impact them, and change their perspective about what it is to live in this world. Readers rarely recommend perfectly written, perfectly boring books to their friends.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
-Marilyn Monroe


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