Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting it right

Image by wasoxygen
I was listening to a video about meditation* and Linda Hall was talking about the importance of going into it with the attitude that whatever happens is good, rather than putting pressure on yourself by demanding you get it right first time. I wish I'd realised that when I first started trying to meditate!

It seems to me it probably applies to other things too. There's nothing worse for writing a first draft of a story than demanding it be "right" from the very start. I seem to do best at most things when I approach them with a rather playful attitude.

*If you watch the video I recommend you have your sound turned off until after the advert has finished. It's loud!

19 COMMENTS:

MorningAJ said...

Thing is - I KNOW I should have that attitude, but it's very difficult to do. I'm working on it though.

fairyhedgehog said...

I know exactly what you mean! And telling yourself: "I must be more laid back!" doesn't seem to cut it somehow!

Simon Kewin said...

Great advice : definitely an attitude to cultivate. Draft 1 is for play and just getting ideas down.

fairyhedgehog said...

Glad you agree!

Old Kitty said...

I love first drafts!! I don't worry about the finer things but just write freestyle and get the story on paper!!!! It's so freeing!!!
I must watch the clip when I get home!!! Meditation is something I'd love to be able to do as I'm always hyper and all over the place at the best of times! Take care
x

Whirlochre said...

Last time I tried meditating I fell off the carpet.

Phoenix said...

No. Nope. Nyet. I think it would make a perfectionist like me TOO anxious to "let go." Why, it scares me just thinking about it. It's like dumping an introvert into a party with dozens of extroverts. The anxiety of performing in a way that isn't comfortable is just too overwhelming.

OK, now I've got myself worked up over all these anxious moments. Must go take an hour now to get a hundred more words of my WIP written just right ...

jjdebenedictis said...

Ah, I love water lilies so much. Thanks for that photo!

I wrote almost 2000 words last night (whoo-hoo!) but I really don't know if they're any good. I'm trying very hard to tell myself, "It's a first draft! Press on! Never mind! It's just a first draft!"

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl, you obviously didn't rope yourself in thoroughly first.

Phoenix, I can't imagine trying to make a first draft perfect as I go. I'd just dry up!

jj, that's the way to do it! Glad you like the photo.

Scott from Oregon said...

I want to know WHO made someone else the expert on sitting there and doing and thinking nothing at all?

Seems to me however you think and do nothing is just about the right way to do it....

fairyhedgehog said...

Scott, well that's one way of looking at it!

stacy said...

Letting go of the idea of perfection can be hard. It helps me to remember writing is not a performance-based activity, but something done in drafts.

How are you doing post-wedding? Hope you're getting some rest . . .

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, "letting go of the idea of perfection" is right. I struggle with that even with my crocheting!

We're all recovering from the wedding, which was amazingly good fun but exhausting. The sun is out and that's all I need to feel a bit better!

Richard N said...

I've found a way that works for me - I do like to add the occasional poetical whimsy in comments all over the place...

It's a similar process to poetically enhancing the shit-house wall - you work quickly so you don't get caught, but because that doesn't leave time to over-think things you end up with something that may not be *perfect*, but it has a fun, spontaneous feel to it.

That same 'hit & run' technique might just lend itself to a first draft of pretty much anything?
Grab your kitchen timer, dial in a random time and don't look at what it is... that's the janitor coming to catch you, and you have no idea when.
Wherever you are when the bell goes off, you've finished whether you like it or not! ;-)

fairyhedgehog said...

Richard, your method would leave me a gibbering wreck. But to each his own!

Richard N said...

This thread is far too serious; time for something silly. :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIyixC9NsLI

fairyhedgehog said...

Richard, hehe!

Pewari said...

That's such a timely reminder. I'm definitely too hard on myself most of the time and am far to quick to expect achievement from myself rather than relaxing and enjoying the journey.

fairyhedgehog said...

Pewari, "relaxing and enjoying the journey" is what I'd lost sight of with writing - which is why I'm giving it a break for now. It would be easy to do the same with knitting and crochet (by trying to sell on Etsy, or whatever!) but I'm trying to stay playful.

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