Writer’s Desk: Have Fun and Carry On

You might think that a writer like Douglas Adams, who not only wrote for Doctor Who early in his career but also collaborated with Graham Chapman and even appeared in a Monty Python sketch, would have no problem with confidence. But as Writer’s Desk has previously noted, Adams was an infamous procrastinator, the kind who send publishers into fits and makes readers impatient.

But Adams was also aware of how to avoid blockages and not stay too in your head, wrapped up with anxieties.

At one point, Adams wrote a note to self that he would apparently look at when needing a reminder about how to get on with things. It deserves repeating here:

Writing isn’t so bad really when you get through the worry. Forget about the worry, just press on. Don’t be embarrassed about the bad bits. Don’t strain at them. Give yourself time, you can come back and do it again in the light of what you discover about the story later on. It’s better to have pages and pages of material to work with and off and maybe find an unexpected shape in that you can then craft and put to good use, rather than one manically reworked paragraph or sentence. But writing can be good. You attack it, don’t let it attack you. You can get pleasure out of it. You can certainly do very well for yourself with it . . . !

Pleasure. Fun. Relaxation. Not qualities one normally associates with writing.

Try writing your own note to self. And carry on.

(h/t LitHub)

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