Thursday, October 13, 2011 | By: Brianna

Just Write

"Just write."

You have no idea how many times I've been advise to "just write."  And I'll admit it, I've been guilty of advising someone to "just write" when they're stuck.  But what does it mean?

Whenever someone tells me to "just write," I feel an unyielding desire to yell back at them: "And then what?"  Or "duh."  The whole point is that I have writer's block.  If I were to "just write," where would that get me anyway? When I "just write," I write about writer's block.  Or I write about how whiny I am.  Or I just whine.  Or I write lists.  Lots of lists.

So "just write"?  I understand the idea behind it, the idea that you should just write without trying to censor yourself, without correcting your typos or your grammar (it's ten times easier to do that on the computer because the "backspace" button is just so easily accessible...).  Just write and write and write until you plow through the writer's block and end up on the other side with...what?  A page full of randomness?  Granted, a page full of randomness really wouldn't be that bad, but what are you supposed to do with that?

Just write.
I've read that writer's block is merely a refusal to write.  So basically writer's block is a coward's excuse for not writing.  It's kind of like giving yourself permission to be lazy or give up.  Which is why I write about it.  Because every time I think of that saying, I feel guilty.  So instead of just sitting around and wallowing in self-pity about my writer's block, I write about it.  And it's great.  I kid you not, the majority of the things that I'm proudest of are actually about writer's block.  And some of them you can still tell that they're about writer's block.  Mostly because the title tells you so.  Or because the characters reference it frequently.

So write.  Allow the randomness.  Give permission to your inner child to come out and play for a little while without censure.  Because that's what it's all about, right?  Writing.  Creative self-expression.  And if you're not going to have fun with it, what's the point of doing it?  (That's another rant for another day.  Why do people insist on doing things that they don't enjoy?  We'll think about that later...if I can remember...)

Granted, "just write" is a lot less infuriating than "let the real Brianna write," because at least "just write" is a piece of advice that I can follow.  But for a second, can we ponder that second bit of advice?  "Let the real Brianna write."  So who's this "real Brianna"?  And how can I let her write if I don't even know if she exists?  Maybe I should let her "just write" and I'll get that great American novel onto the shelves.

"A truly creative person removes all self-imposed limitations."
- fortune cookie


Post a Comment