Write What You Want To Write

22 03 2011

Write what you want to write.  Don’t slog through a setup scene or explain the background of a topic when what you really, deeply want to write on is the scene or subject itself.  If you try to force it just sitting there staring at the blank page, that real, deep want will  fade, and then you’ll feel miserable and get a form of that dreaded thing we call writer’s block.

Jim Rohn calls it the law of diminishing intent.  If you have an idea, a goal, an itch, then start immediately.  The longer you wait, the less you’re going to think about doing it.  And the less you think about doing it, the less chance you’re actually going to get around to it.

It’s no different for writers.  If you’ve got that scene in your head, just write the darn thing.  You can always go back later and fill in the blanks, clean up the transition, and delete the unnecessary dialogue or information dump you tried writing to introduce the scene.  In fact, I find when I write the meat of the scene first, the transitions before and after are easier to write.  Your focus is already written out, all you have to do is go in and write in what makes sense.

(Think of the difference of the way our natural conversations get off track from the original, intended subject and a clear, laser-focused public speech.  Writing the setup scene is like chatting with a friend–it’s nice, but it isn’t terribly focused.  Writing from your subject/core scene first, however, is like getting down to the nitty gritty in a well done, informative, and perhaps entertaining public speech.)

This goes for topics and articles, too, of course.  That’s why I’m writing this at 2:40 in the morning.  And because I’m tired–yet not tired enough to ignore that itch to write–I’ll write what I want to write and go to bed.  Then I’ll wake up tomorrow, proofread and maybe do a little editing, and post this little entry for all of you to read and share–probably at a time when everyone’s not sound asleep in their beds.

So write what you want to write.  Scratch your real itch, then go back and fix the fluffy parts when they make sense.




2 responses

22 03 2011

Great advice! Write what you want to write. I try to do this all the time and tell my writing friends to do the same. Usually when you get a writing itch you are so inspired that the words flow quickly and the prose is strong. By the way, I can totally relate to writing at 2:40 in the morning!

22 03 2011

Thanks! We creative types can be horribly disorganized. Something that’s always stood out to me about best selling authors is their laser-like ability to focus, and that certainly applies to writing the meat of the story.
And I’m so glad to know there are others with sleep issues. I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with that writing itch that appears in witching hour.

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