We are our own toughest critics (unless we are narcissists) and this often prevents us from doing our best work. This is something I have noticed in my writing. I’m always conscious that someone will be reading it, so I end up trying to write for my audience rather than for myself. This usually ends up with me getting annoyed and frustrated, and barely getting anything done because I keep deleting and rewriting my work until I decide enough is enough and give up for the day.
Writing is my creative outlet of choice. I’ve always been a writer since I first learned how, and have had fantasies about becoming a famous author. I have a hard-drive full of poems, short stories, and novels that have been started but will never be finished. I’m always thinking about them and things that I want to add. I always imagine the feeling I get when I write and how happy I will be when I finish one. But whenever I open up one of my books, I spend so much time reading and rewriting that I never make any progress.
But yesterday, I did something different. Yesterday, I had an idea in my head of where I wanted a story to go. I had seen it play out in my head and I wanted to get it down, so I started writing. The difference this time was that I was so excited about my plot development, that I forgot to worry about what other people would think about my writing. I didn’t stop to reread what I’d done, I made no edits, no changes, I just let the ideas flow out of me. I’d written three full pages before I stopped and was surprised to see so much production.
I still didn’t reread it, I didn’t want to ruin the feeling I was having. I had fun and was able to fully immerse myself in the story and interact with my characters fully. I have decided that this is the way I should have been writing all along. After all, there’s no point in writing for an imaginary audience if I’m never able to finish a book to be read. So from now on, I’m going to write without judgement and criticism from beginning to end. Once the story is complete, then I can put on my editors hat and start making it suitable for publication.