Nobody’s perfect, so quit procrastinating

When you ask writers to name their biggest faults, procrastination lands at the top of the heap. They beat themselves up and call themselves failures because they justcan’t seem get going.

Photo copyright Aleksei Vert

Photo copyright Aleksei Vert

The problem, however, probably isn’t failure. It’s more likely to be perfection. The desire to turn out a single perfect draft can backfire into inability to start.

How to get past the roadblocks? Lower your standards. “It’s easy to write,” poet William Stafford wrote in “Writing the Australian Crawl.” “You just shouldn’t have standards that inhibit you from writing.”

Some of the standards that hold us back:

The belief that the place to start writing is the beginning of the piece. When you get stuck at the beginning, try starting at the middle. Or divide the story into sections and start with one of them. Then return to writing the beginning. You may find that your lead emerged in the middle, and you can move it up.

Fear of typing sloppy copy. It’s not necessary to get all of the spelling, grammar and organization right on the first pass. That’s why you More

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