My names is Milo. I'm a recovering perfectionist.
Once upon a time, I would write every line of a story and make sure it was "perfect" before moving on to the next. I would craft each sentence as a sculptor molds clay and cuts away the excess, working over every word to be certain it was the best choice. Obviously, it was slow-going.
Sure, I’d read King's On Writing where he emphasizes the importance of blazing through the first draft without stopping; of course, I was familiar with Hemingway's famous quote that first drafts are always garbage. But I thought I had to make mine the best it could be, since in comparison with a King or a Hemingway's first draft, mine at its best was probably closer to theirs at their worst.
But then I heard a writer talk about "vomiting" his work onto the page, and while he was referring to baring one's heart and soul (and cookies?) in his writing, I decided to use the same term in reference to my early drafts.
Once I'm able to set aside the notion that each sentence has to be perfect the first time around, I can freely "vomit" all manner of wordage onto the page and then sift through the mess for what really gleams. Maybe I end up tossing half the stuff I write, but at least I've got that other half written.
Here's what perfectionism does for me: It keeps me from writing. "Why bother trying if I know I'm not in a good frame of mind to write something wonderful today? I should wait until inspiration strikes; then my verbiage shall be most grand." Bah. Better to vomit it out. As my favorite Greek philosopher Anonymous once said, "The worst stuff you write is always better than the best stuff you don't."
>> End of Inspirational Transmission <<
Having a little difficulty figuring out where to submit your stories? Is hunting through Duotrope's Digest or Ralan's Webstravaganza leaving you full of angst? Fear not. Here is a cool blog where Jim Harrington interviews editors and finds out exactly what they're looking for. Check it out: "Six Questions For…"
In other news, we now have Write1Sub1 swag available through Café Press! T-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, stickers, tote bags, even doggie apparel, all emblazoned with our logo + the most important word of 2011: PERSPERISTENCE!
Write1Sub1 swag has been made available only for those of us who want to share our love of Write1Sub1 with the world. Neither Milo James Fowler, Simon Kewin, nor Stephen V. Ramey will make a single cent from any purchase at Café Press. All prices have been set by Café Press, and all proceeds go directly to them. This is not a money-making endeavor. This is just a cool way to publicize our year-long writing experiment in Ray Bradbury’s shadow.
>> End of Disclaimer <<
I’ve ordered one of the ringer T's and a mug for myself with earnings from a story I sold last December. Talk about the circle of life…