Wednesday, June 13, 2012

15 Habits of Great Writers: Start

All creation comes from chaos. All works of art begin as splotches of paint on a canvas. It’s never beautiful at first. Before your work can reach its potential, it will first have to be bad. ~ Jeff Goins

Start.  That is today's Habit to put into practice. 

But Jeff Goins takes this one step further and challenges us all to start ugly.

I know when I first started writing, I expected each manuscript to be fully formed with perfect grammar and spelling right from the beginning.  I didn't even want to move onto another manuscript until the one I was currently working on was "finished".  What can I say?  I am a perfectionist! 

However, now I am drowning in a lot of half-baked WIPs!  I have felt extremely pressured because I am participating in the 12x12in'12 Challenge and although I am rising to the challenge and creating a manuscript each month, I don't always have the time to edit them, revise them, or even make them good!  In fact, some of these manuscripts are quite ugly.

Jeff urges us to just start and don't be afraid of the ugly. 

Because, as he states in his blog, "when we choose to start with ugly, we do the following:
  1. We actually create something (instead of continuing to dream about it).
  2. We grow. We learn what works and what doesn’t.
  3. We get the chance to make it better."
Its really quite free-ing!  In fact, today I already drafted up the outline for this month's manuscript...and I will definitely be making it quite ugly before the end of the week!  But it will be a start.


  1. Ha! I used to be a perfectionist. Vague memory. Now I'm drowning in Ugly and I love it!

  2. It just occurred to me that I can use the "15 habits" to create my PB for 12x12...thanks for the idea. Marcie!

  3. Drowning in half-baked WIPs! Nicely put!

  4. I have more than 2 dozen completed pb manuscripts. Some are ugly. Some are hideous. Some have beauty that draws me in and urges me to refine it like Liza in My Fair Lady. I spitshine. I polish. I rework until the pages turn themselves. I send them out and let them flap their wings (pun intended since my debut is called Flap) and I wait.