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I’m Procrastinating Right Now

I have a really absurd dream. I have no idea how it got there in my head but it’s there.

My dad is an engineer which means he gets to work with the coolest tech on the planet. It meant I grew up around it and therefore I wanted to be an engineer (and an astronaut, and a video game designer, and a professional athlete (checked that one off the list), and…). I started playing sports and found out I was really good at softball so I used that as a means to further my education.

Now I want to write a book. Not a book about my life (honestly, I don’t want to bore everyone to death) but some sort of fiction, sci-fi, YA shit.

Funny that I’m procrastinating writing a book by writing here instead. I also procrastinate by researching “how to write books” instead of actually sitting down and writing the book. I’ve been doing that for as long as I can remember.

I finally read something yesterday that will hopefully jumpstart my journey into writing.

I am a perfectionist and avid learner which means I hate things that lack quality. Thus fuels my biggest fear in my own writing: that it will suck. So I research the perfect way to start a book. I research, write, delete, write, delete, delete, write, and delete once more until I stare at a blank page again. I look up different ways to outline a book. I scratch out ideas. I come up with seventeen different ideas for a direction the book could go. I never decide a path for my characters and just pile on more conflicting directions.

But I never write the first word. Until I read the most helpful thing I’ve ever read:

Give yourself permission to write something terrible.

I’ve been so concerned with making my first draft the best thing I’ve ever created that I have tossed out so many ideas. I don’t even know if they are good or not! But the notion of setting out and being okay with the first draft not being great has never even crossed my mind.

With the word PERMISSION plastered on my writing wall (the wall of motivational notes I write myself as I procrastinate actually writing), I have given myself permission to suck. I have given the first draft the right to be terrible. Because in order to make a draft better it has to exist in the first place.

So here’s to writing a book that sucks. And hopefully making it better later.

-LJ

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