Photo Credit: StockSnap
We are now in for a real treat Blondewritemore readers, as the amazing and super talented blogger Kelsey Horton has agreed to do a guest post (cue the round of applause and excited faces). She has even brought with her an adorable little chick to go with her post (I do love guest bloggers who bring me little cute things) so without further ado let me introduce Kelsey.
Kelsey Horton is a Chicago-based writer and sustainability do-gooder who writes about stuckness, empowerment, and full-tilt shining at KelseyNic.com. You must check out her blog.
Ok Kelsey…Blondewritemore is all yours:
Writers have a knack of getting in our way.
We read a piece of someone else’s writing and gasp at its crispness and truth, but our own pen plunks against the page. We want our writing to soar, but the words come out cramped and hollow.
We compare our fledgling works-in-progress to someone else’s finished product. We say we have Writer’s Block. We avoid writing altogether. How did we ever think we had talent to begin with? Why are we bothering?
The problem is that we expect perfection. We try to rush the process. We forget that that our writing needs to hatch.
Go to a science museum (or Youtube) and find the exhibit where baby chicks hatch from their eggs. The hatching process is messy and chaotic, filled with uncertainty and heroics and desperate gasps for breath.
As each chick starts to hatch, the egg cracks open and a sliver of yellow fuzz becomes visible. A tiny indistinguishable bird cracks the egg a little more and stops, its heart and lungs panting for breath and the shell shaking in suspended animation.
A little more pushing, a little more cracking until the chick is almost hatched. You can see the chick’s head and neck curled against the safe crevice of its egg, but it’s too late to retreat back into the shell. When the chick emerges from the egg at last, it lies on the ground resting and chirping– a miracle covered in goop, unrecognizable as the fluffy chicken we know it will eventually become.
That hatching process is our writing process. Beautiful writing doesn’t stream from the pen in magical lines of wonder on the first try, just like a chicken doesn’t pristinely leap out of its egg fully grown. We need to let our words hatch onto the page.
We need to let the glop come out – the adverbs, the slang, the boring sentences, the self-absorption – and to withhold judgment about what it’s ultimately going to become. Self-doubt and perfectionism block us from hatching. Comparing our writing to others halts our creative process in its tracks.
If we let these things stop us, if we stay in our cozy incubated shells, we’ll never make it to the other side – to the shining writing miracle we were meant to be all along. We can’t get published and go on book tours and change lives when we’re cooped inside an egg. We need to break through.
And we must be willing to do this over and over again.
You will write a blog post, you will write a heart-wrenching note to a deceased friend, you will write your bestselling novel… and the next time you sit down to write, you will still need to hatch. You will hatch your heart onto the page now and again and forever if you’re brave enough.
Pick up that pen. Get the words onto the page in their goopiness and fuzz. Be willing to write something that sounds funky at first, trusting that it will unfold into something beautiful in the end.
Dive in. Don’t worry about how messy the writing process feels. You are quivering. You are breaking free. You are hatching.
Thanks Kelsey, what a fab guest blogger post! For all my readers out there I am quivering, breaking free and hatching right now. It is a bit messy here and I think I need some tissues.
Thankyou so much for writing this interesting post and bringing in your cute little chick.
Before you go Kelsey, my cat ‘The Duke of Wellington’ has asked whether he can hang out on his own with your little chick? Sigh….I am so proud of him for wanting to make new bird friends, his bird eating addiction is obviously over!
Happy Hatching all you writers!