Sometimes you need to puke to make yourself feel better.

I haven’t thrown up since 1984.

Seriously, I’m talking 31 years without so much as a dry heave.  And that’s an extra special accomplishment when you consider the tons of buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks and General Tso’s chicken I’ve eaten over those three decades.

But when it comes to writing shows, writing ad copy, or even writing blogs, I puke up all the time.

If you’re a writer (And who isn’t?  No matter what your specialty, you’re at the very least required to write emails and letters to persuade people to do what you want them to do.), then at some point you’ve probably stared at a blank screen and wondered, “What the @#%$ am I gonna say?”

It can be paralyzing, can’t it?  Scary?  Depressing, even?

That’s when I puke.

See, at the beginning stage of writing, it’s very easy for the perfectionist to take over.  You don’t want to put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper until you have it exactly “write.”  So you stare, and wait for inspiration to come.

And nothing happens.

It’s so much easier just to throw up.

Just start moving your fingers, start moving your hands, write whatever is on your mind.  Just puke all over the page.  First drafts of any written material are always messy.  Accept that it’s going to be that, and just get it out there.

Because it’s so much easier to shape something when there’s something there in the first place to shape.

 

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Comments
  • Eleanor T. says:

    Personally…I would rather stare at the key board…indefinitely if necessary and curse the angst of white screen syndrome, and/or rant and rave, rather than throw up. Somehow, even the mere thought of this physical action is enough to make me nauseous but in the end, not enough to actually…well you know what I’m alluding to. In fact, discussing “it” is making me queasy so I better stop…now…

  • Mark Levine says:

    Cliche as it may sound, writing is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration. God bless.

  • Janet Miller says:

    Yup. That is what I do with choreography many times. Just start. Fix later if need be. But usually, it comes out well…

  • Thomas Heath says:

    Never thought of it as “puking” Ken, but well said! Many a times folks have come up to me as a playwright and asked: “What is the key to writing a play?”

    My answer: Just start writing.

    And this comes from a recovering perfectionist….

  • Dara Ely says:

    This “brain dump” method always works for me – actually even with a daunting physical task like putting together anything from Ikea. Just jump in!

    Just getting some words on the page (or screen) seems to really help me when it comes to both creative pursuits and a difficult project at work.

  • Patty K says:

    Had me laughing out loud! Very funny! And I say…whatever works!

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