When people ask me what I do, and then I tell them I’m a writer, it draws an interesting response from many.
“Wow…I’ve always wanted to write!”
Of course, my response is typically, “That’s terrific. Why don’t you write?”
“I don’t have time…I’m not that good…I don’t know what to write about…” You get the picture.
Well, writer’s write. That’s what makes someone a writer. They sit before a blank screen, fingers poised above the keyboard, and then fill the page.
Once the page is filled the job is just beginning. Writer’s write, and then re-write.
A good friend who writes sci-fi books told me once, “My first draft is always crap. The re-write is the attempt to clean up the crap.”
It’s true. We aren’t perfect. There was only one Mozart (who could hear and see the symphony in his mind and write the music from brain to hand, perfectly). Us mortals – and especially those of us blessed with ADD – must absolutely entertain one or more re-writes.
I actually enjoy the re-write process. The work takes shape. It’s like a master blacksmith who pounds with his heavy hammer, refining and shaping, refining and shaping, until he has his finished piece. It’s a process.
So…MAKE. And then revise. It’s the process and path every craftsman must take.
I was checking out Stanford University’s d. school page the other day. Very cool site focused on the integration of design and other areas of living. Stanford may be the academic leader in this conversion – I encourage you to check out their site.
As I was browsing there was a photo of a sign that hangs in their hall:
NOTHING IS A MISTAKE
THERE’S NO WIN
AND NO FAIL
This is the essence of creativity. All too often we get bogged down in self-doubt, self-editing, and self-destruction. We want things to be perfect when there is no perfect. There is just MAKE.
Like The Great One, Wayne Gretzky said, “The only guarantee is that you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Something like that…
The point is, do what you do. Don’t edit. Don’t erase. Don’t paint over. Just create.
I live and die by deadlines. As a writer I’ve abided by due dates my entire career. As someone with ADD this has been no easy task because sometimes Weed Slog Syndrome hits and there isn’t much I can do about it.
Weed Slog Syndrome?
It’s a combination of overwhelm, brain fog, and the inability to focus. You feel like you’re slogging through a mud marsh filled with ten foot tall weeds. Caffeine doesn’t work. Supplements don’t work. Even the adrenaline that sudden urgency typically brings is not present. You’re just slogged.
Well, I just got slogged. I haven’t missed a deadline in quite some time, but I did this week. Let me tell you, it made me spin.
I suck. I’m gonna get fired. It’s not my fault (my favorite). Maybe you know this script?
I made a mistake. I got a date wrong. What I wrote was pretty good. Of course, that was negated because I missed the freaking deadline.
I gave myself permission to kvetch for a bit. I think that’s better than swallowing and spinning on my self-anger. It’s a release.
And then I asked God for His grace to cover me, to forgive my humanness. And then I accepted that I had made a mistake, and that whatever consequences occurred, I would accept them with humility.
Getting Slogged isn’t an excuse. It’s like playing a football game in the snow. It’s messy, but you still have to plow through to the finish.
Sometimes there’s rain. Lots of rain…words pouring onto the page. The fountain never runs dry, it seems. Maybe it’s hyper-focus. Maybe it’s the elusive state of flow. Either way, I live for those times.
And then there is drought. The keyboard is a desert. There’s no water on the screen. Sometimes for days.
E.L. Doctorow said that a writer shouldn’t be too comfortable. Noise in the street is a good thing. So is a broken down computer. He says there needs to be a struggle – it’s a good thing.
Of course, as someone with ADD, if I hear an interesting noise in the street, I might get up and take a look. When I look out the window I might see something else, maybe an odd looking person walking down the sidewalk. I might daydream about that person’s life, wondering where they are going in the middle of the day, which may lead to other daydreams about where I wish I could be at that moment. Maybe a ball game (are the Giants in town?), or maybe sitting next to a creek in the mountains reading a good book. Which then leads me to my book shelf. Kerouac or King?
And then, as I browse my library, I remember…I’m supposed to be writing. Something. Anything.
I used to beat myself up for rabbit-trailing. Now I just laugh. And pray for rain.
Nearly 30 years ago I was told by a billionaire that I had a $6 billion super computer between my ears. Being young and dumb I took that for granted.
Fast forward. After years of experiencing a lot of success but falling short in the fulfillment column, I now understand that the super computer between my ears is in constant need to fine tuning.
Blazing Mind is my way of connecting with Creative Types who want more fulfillment, satisfaction and success. It’s my way of sharing with others the lessons I have learned – and those learned by many others – that will benefit anyone who wants to have better results, experience flow, and otherwise cultivate higher degrees of happiness.
If you see something you like, let me know. If you think I’m full of it, I’d like to hear your views. No matter what, I hope you’ll find this content interesting, entertaining, educational, and, at times, inspirational. I promise you’ll get my authentic best.
And I hope the content will contribute to helping you fine-tune your super computer.