Saturday, February 23, 2013

Page Fright

A Fast Flow Writing exercise based on Chapter 24 of The Writer's Portable Therapist by Rachel Ballon.

"When I sit down and face a blank page....

I am afraid I cannot write anything original or thoughtful. I am a child having daydreams with prefab characters. And my daydreams are not only peopled by characters created by others, they are mere fragments. Nothing with a beginning, a middle and an end.

I am ashamed of my writing on a deep level. Not my writing, my daydreams that masquerade as potential writing.

I sit before the blank page knowing that if I wrote down what was inside me everyone who saw it would laugh. Too much of the real me is showing. And the real me makes people laugh and point.

I sit down before a blank page and I stop. If I write, all I can do is fill a paper full of my mistakes. Everything I write is a mistake because I am a mistake. I am not the femme little girl my parents wanted.

I tried to believe in myself but nothing happened. Is it not time to give up?"

Fast flow writing--- writing quickly and uncensored--- is a way to reveal the inner doubts and demons that may be inhibiting your writing. By bringing these things out in the open they have less power over you. OK, posting this private therapeutic writing exercise on my blog is probably bringing it too much out in the open. But I'll bet a lot of writers--- including better-than-me writers--- have similar inner thoughts.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Inferior Writers: Shakespeare, Austin and Dickens

When I was young, I thought the writers of the past--- Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville and the like--- were good writers. But now that I have learned what it takes to be a good writer--- a critique group and an editor-for-hire--- I know they were bad writers. Since they didn't have critique groups and editors-for-hire back then, it's clear that quality writing hadn't even been invented yet.

Besides the badness of the writing of that pre-modern age, it's clear that writing back then was
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