Writing Faster Requires More Courage Than You Think

You can’t escape the inherent risk of creativity.

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

The writing process takes time.

At least that’s what I tell myself for taking so long to write stories.

Great things take time. It takes a while to get things right.

Patience is a prerequisite to the creative process. Excellence demands it. But here’s the tricky part: Perfectionism so often disguises itself as desire for excellence.

It’s difficult for me to write shorter pieces because I refuse to write faster. And I refuse to write faster because I take pride and pleasure in being calculated. In minimizing risk.

If I think long and hard about what I’m writing, and I’m meticulous enough in the process, then surely, the outcome will be brilliant work.

And it’s this sense of assurance that I’ve been clinging to. This higher guarantee of success. These are things that writing fast won’t be able to give me.

All this goes to show is that I’m still tremendously scared of failure. Prioritizing speed meant assuming more risk.

I’ve always prided myself for my readiness to embrace failure should it come. Fail, learn, do better, I tell myself. But can one really claim that she is brave in the face of failure, if, to begin with, she fears the possibility of falling short? If she cannot fully grasp that risk is inherent to the creative process?

Writing faster and more simply requires the courage to be less calculated. To “just write” is to write from the heart.

Sometimes your most profound insights need only a few paragraphs – maybe even sentences. But to see that, you must find it in yourself to trust the words that you weave in your head when they come. To let those words be stronger than that little voice in your head screaming for perfection.

The perfect words or sentences or paragraphs will not give you confidence. Because there are no such things. There are only ideas that flawlessly move you. Words that simply feel right to you. Words, that when strung together, fit into some coherent whole – And may even deliver that perfect message you had all along.

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