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September 27, 2010

Give It Your Worst

Only a mediocre writer is always at his best. — W Somerset Maugham

Photo by San Diego Shooter
To master any skill requires practice, and--in the beginning, especially--practice isn't always pretty.  Too often writers give up because their expectations overwhelm their abilities.  If you keep working, you will improve, and you will write a whole lot of crap along the way.  Accept that and give yourself permission to be less than your best sometimes.

Today's exercise is one a friend and I have used as a pick-me-up when the work of writing overshadowed the joy of writing.  It's simple.  Write the worst scene you possibly can.  Cliches.  Clunky dialogue.  Bad jokes.  Throw in anything you like and really stink up the page.  When you've finished, read it over--out loud if you like--and let your inner editor chew on it awhile so you can get the real work done.

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