Other People’s Bad Writing

Have you ever started reading a book… only to find the contents less than satisfying? Maybe your favorite best-selling author released a “vintage” title from the back list, and it should’ve remained in obscurity?

The first two times I ever sat down to journal were prompted not by brilliant ideas or an uncontrollable desire to write, but rather by the thought that “anything I write will at least be better than the crap I read today.”

I’ve since discovered the vanity of my idle thoughts. Great writing is easier produced inside the bounds of our ethereal thought vapors than when actual words have to hit actual paper.

While not competitive at sports or video games, I have always pitted typing speed, math calculations, and tedious mindless tasks like letter-folding and envelope-stuffing against the clock. I know when I crochet a lap blanket, each row takes seven minutes. Thirty rows plus fringe equals six episodes of my favorite TV show.  (Maybe I’d finish quicker if I watched less compelling shows?)

But can writing be set to a timer the same way?

I’m experimenting with the creation of first-draft content to a 15-minute tick-down, and you know what? I find it motivates. It helps me focus, tune out the rest of the world. I get more done in less time.

But is it great writing?


Well… it’s damn well better than what I was getting done while obsessed with someone else’s bad writing! Now I’d rather finish more of my own (albeit mediocre) writing, than lose one more minute to worry that I won’t be good enough.

How about you?  Are you ready to start writing?  Because I know you’ve got a story to tell!

Cheers, Demi


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