One of the main barriers to the progress of any work is the apprehension of the author. From research papers to creative writing to blog entries, authors give into doubt and excuses that inhibit creative outflow. The Carolina Area Writing Project I attended during the summer of 2009 dealt heavily with writing apprehension, its causes and effects, in order to move individuals from regurgitators of words to competent communicators. Some of the strategies my workshop group focused on included the following:
JUST WRITE. – Most writers will agree that one of the hardest aspects of getting an idea on paper is, well, getting it from brain, to pen, to paper! Just write. If it’s terrible and not Pulizter worthy, don’t worry about it. If you’ve documented your ideas then you’ve won the initial battle with the blank page.
Nothing is a final draft. – This is one of my favorite pieces of writing advice that I give my students, and it was taught to me by Dr. William Tate of Campbell University during my freshman year of college. Dr. Tate made sure that we understood until our papers left our hands and entered the pile to be graded on his desk, we were in complete control of our piece. If there was something we noticed at the last minute we were permitted to change it with a pen before turning it in. Everything has room for improvement. Nothing is a final draft.
Write a little every day. – Nothing develops confidence in writing more than writing every day. Mastering this strategy sounds daunting, but it’s really not. Write a note to your spouse, describe a conversation with your best friend using elements of dialogue, journal, review an article on Yahoo!, or just write a really bad poem about a cat on the mat. A masterpiece is not found as an oasis in the middle of a desert; it is sifted out of or made up of the rubble of past failures.
We are all trying to communicate something. Don’t let fear impede that right.