Writing Hang-Ups

judepax asks:
How do you write without getting hung up on all kinds of minute details like “the word that means what I’m thinking doesn’t feel like the right word” or “but that’s too vague/specific/improbable/whatever”?

You don’t.

Eventually, you develop a tough skin against your worst critic: yourself. You can utilize many tools to combat the nagging sensation that your writing ‘isn’t good enough’: read it aloud, edit, re-edit, re-re-edit, pass it on to someone else you trust to criticize it, run it through various writing programs, and so on – but none of that really matters if you never finish something and put yourself out there.

Wanting to be better at something – writing, illustrating, being an athlete, etc., – that’s a good thing. If you think you’re perfect, you’re not. No one is. But what matters is using your own skill set as best you can and always, always striving to be better. Without striving to do better, to be better, we stagnate and become our own status quo.

And without actually doing, and potentially saying “This is me, at my best right now…” …we can’t get better because we aren’t even doing, we’re just rolling in the void. You have to take the leap.

Being your own critic isn’t necessarily bad, so long as it doesn’t stop you from also being your own self and wanting to be your own best self. We can all improve ourselves ad infinitum. Until then, we can all put ourselves out there while we improve. In my opinion, that’s the only way we move forward.

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