Welcome Guest Blogger Author Judith Marshall


Today we have a guest blogger, author Judith Marshall, with an intersting article on writing badly. Enjoy.

Take it away, Judith!

Give Yourself Permission to Write Badly

When I look back at the first draft of my novel, “Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever,” I’m appalled. How could I expect to interest an agent or publisher in this drivel? But while I was pounding out the words, I didn’t know it was bad. I only knew I had something to say.

For all you aspiring writers out there, I want you to know that it’s okay to write badly. It’s okay not to have an MFA in writing or even any knowledge of the craft. The main thing is to get it down from beginning to end. Why? Because writing is about revision. There will be plenty of time to correct mistakes, beef up the plot and hone your characters later.

But first you must silence your inner critic; that voice that keeps telling you your writing is crap. This voice does not like to be ignored. She wants you to be precise, to choose just the right word, to use the proper punctuation. She wants you to be inspired, prolific and brilliant. Wouldn’t that be nice? But if you wait for that to happen, you’ll be staring at a blank computer screen most days.

If you want to be a writer, you have to start somewhere, and most often it begins with writing badly. Writing badly is the first step toward producing anything worthwhile.

Thanks, Judith. You hit the nail on the head.

Below is a great photo of Judith, with a cover shot, and you can contact Judith at http://www.judithmarshall.net

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7 comments on “Welcome Guest Blogger Author Judith Marshall

  1. You are exactly right, Judith. Time to write in my journal. I always give myself permission to write badly there, and the truths come pouring out.

    B. Lynn Goodwin
    http://www.writeradvice.com
    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  2. You are so right about this, Judith. And this truth is valid for everything else creative–singing, dancing, painting, cooking, interior design, — even career and relationships. Put something out there so you have something to work with and refine!

  3. allevenson says:

    A few months ago I attended a meeting of the Southwest Writers in Albuquerque. The speaker talked about his writing process. He gets up at 4 a.m. to write because his Inner Writer is awake and ready to go but his Inner Editor is still asleep. Interesting notion about the writer’s struggle with his own editor.

  4. Dave LaRoche says:

    Regarding the “inner editor,” I have had that guy knocking on my door several times. I say, “Can’t you read the sign, ‘SOLICITORS NOT WELCOME’.”

  5. I couldn’t agree more, and have given this advice a million times over!

  6. Absolutely! If you wait for perfection to arrive it will be a very long wait. I have read many top rung authors, in print, major big name publishers, replete with typos and grammar missteps. That doesn’t make it right of course, but it should give those of us still in the more or less ‘newbie’ category courage to forge on ahead.

  7. kiraholt says:

    The inner critic can drive a person mad. I agree writing is rewriting and rewriting and then rewriting more.

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