Last night, at a write-in, I offered a piece of advice that made me stop and listen to myself. My fellow writer is 30 pages behind on her script, and really struggling to focus. At one point, in near despair, she cried out, “This is horrible!”
Trying to encourage her, I said, “You can do it. You just have to get the horrible out until the good stuff comes.”
Man, oh man. Is that tough or what? I think in any art, the practice seems so mundane. It is so easy to lose sight of what is practice and what is refined art. In writing, it is incredibly difficult to write a rough draft and let it be rough. Most of us are also avid readers, inner editors who cringe at the sight of a misplaced modifier.
But that’s not the point. The point, especially in a contest like Script Frenzy, is to get the words written. To meet the page every single day, whether the writing is horrible or brilliant. To push ahead through the horrible until the tiny light of a beautiful story appears, and then to mold that draft – over and over – until it becomes brilliant.
The thing that scares me is that I know I have a lot of horrible in me. I also know there is a lot of good buried in there, under the horrible. Am I willing to put in the work, to get the horrible out in order to find the brilliant?
Do you have something you are shying away from, because you know your first attempts will be horrible? Go do it. Get it out today, and you’ll be that much closer to finding the brilliant.