Writing through the Fog

We can’t always execute things perfectly…

Picture the scene: It’s all taking much longer than you want it to, but you’re determined to just get this bit done. You promised yourself. But, the words you’re writing are, to be honest, a bit rubbish. Maybe you’ve re-written the same sentence 10 times. Maybe the tone sounds a bit childish. What are you going to do?

This is how I found myself writing a lot of my uni essays. (Who am I kidding? It was definitely all of them). I knew I could write better than that, but apparently I couldn’t that day. And the deadlines were creeping every closer…

I think it helped that I didn’t have a choice. I knew that I cared about what I was writing, I knew that I’d done my research…and I just had keep throwing words onto the page so that I could sleep that night. And do you know what happened? At some point when I was writing, whether it was that paragraph or the next or the next, I’d find myself writing something intelligent and astute again. It came back when I wasn’t stressing, or after some food, or when I was so tired that I didn’t have the energy to doubt myself anymore.

I’d then go back through that earlier mind-fog writing and tidy it all up. And it actually helped that I’d left everything there rather than deleting the poorly executed paragraphs. All the ideas and references and connections were in place, and my now-sharp mind could work through the dodgy paragraphs in minutes, not the hours it would take to re-write them from scratch.

So, what was this post about? It’s about the fact that sometimes you just have to deal with a shoddy execution for a while so that you can move onto better things and write your way out of the fog.

(This post began as part of my A-Z of Writing Struggles series)

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