Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Clean (#atozchallenge)

Welcome to my 3rd post on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. My challenge, as I have chosen to accept it, is thus: I have asked on my Facebook and Twitter accounts for people to contribute random words beginning with today's letter. From Random.org, I have selected one of these words, and will below challenge myself to connect said word to writing.

For the letter C, I received 68 suggestions. Random.org selected number 8: clean.

PS--My Mondays and Wednesdays have me running around without good internet access all day until 9pm EST (US). I'll get back to you, but it might be late tonight.


So, I thought about taking the easy route with this, talking about cleaning up and polishing your work, making sure you've got a good editor, etc., etc., but we've heard that all before, haven't we? And, well, we need something to help us get over the Monday blues, right? Who wants to talk about cleaning up after yourself when you've spent a weekend Spring cleaning (or Fall cleaning, maybe, for our dear friends south of the Equator), or cleaning up after kids, or after dinner, or cleaning up the yard...

You get the idea.

Instead, I want to talk about you. Now, before I do, please don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way. I am in NO WAY implying that any of my readers (or myself) are unclean. But if you have one of those skin conditions that comes from not bathing, I'm not judging. I just don't need to know about it :)

Thus, exhibit A:
Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

Poor Pig-Pen. All he wants is to have fun with his friends, but he always ends up dirty and smelly. Why is that?


Pig-Pen loves everything he does. He gets deep down in the dirty while he's playing, and loves every minute of it. The boy's not afraid to get a little messy.

When it comes to writing, we need to get messy before we can dust off our hands and call the creation "done". That's one reason, in my opinion, events like NaNoWriMo are so successful. It's like an entire month of rolling around in the mud and never taking a shower. By the end, you stink, and BOY OH BOY do you want a good, long, hot shower or bath, but look at the prize that's waiting for you. The diamond of your enthusiasm awaits. Yeah, maybe you got muckier than you wanted, and you can't stand to look at that gem again for a while. I haven't looked at my 2010 NaNo yet, that's for sure, and I have no intention of doing so before June. BUT, I know it's decent... deep, deep, Deep, DEEP down. I just need to clean it up.

My bottom line is: Clean isn't always good, nor is it always what's best for us. Let the words flow, get the ides down. Later you can find your diamond in the rough. It's there, no matter what. Sometimes the mud just makes it a little easier to see.

How do you write? Do you polish as you go? Or do you spew words and tidy up after yourself later? 

Have you tried challenges like NaNo? What others have you participated in?

Want to play along with my A-to-Z Challenge? Today I'm taking suggestions for the letter G. I'll take as many or as few as you'd like to contribute. :)


mooderino said...

Ha. i was wondering where you were going with this, and then I got it. Get down and dirty first, and then scrub up nice.

Anonymous said...

I really get messy with the first draft, then clean up on subsequent ones. For me, that is the only way to go.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I struggle with letting loose and writing messy first drafts. Every project I try to embrace it, leaving the clean-up to the revision stage. I know I'm getting better....-ish. :))

Wendy (aka) Fabulosity said...

Well I've just started on my first attempt at writing and it seems to come in bits and pieces that are everywhere and right now I just write a chunk at a time, be it a paragraph or page and save it hoping that when I look at it as a whole later it will fit and make sense. I'm so scared of the writing of a book itself I fear if I don't do this I'm never write anything.

Jules said...

Oh, I so identify with Pig Pen. Great analogy! Still praying your mediocre umbrella makes :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Talli Roland said...

I'm a spewer! I find I need to get it all out, and only then can I take it and move it around as need be!

Ellie said...

Great post! As Stephen King says, 'Write with the door closed and re-write with it open'.

With my first draft I just write and see where it takes me, and only after that do I start to clean it up.

Ellie Garratt

Natasha Hanova said...

Great post! I like what Ellie said too.

I used to be a get the bones down first writer. But can't stop the editing while writing thing.

Gregg said...

Great post! Great to select your topics also. By the way we used the same letter C today.

Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

Susan Oloier said...

Love the image of Pig Pen as it relates to life and writing.
I clean up as I go, which is why it takes me forever to finish a draft.
I have participated in Nano, but don't seem to need it as a motivator to write anymore since I basically write everyday. It has taken me 15 years to find that self-motivation, though.
Great post!!!

muso-blog-hog said...

Great posts Rosie ~ I have a MAJOR problem concentrating on writing the entire story ~ i'm always tempted to edit as I go along .
Maybe it's because I am basically a newish writer (wrt fiction) and still trying to feel my way around ...


Marjorie said...

When I write I fly by the seat of my pants and try to edit as I go. I always end up rereading a million times and cleaning up then as well.

DEZMOND said...

while translating books, I do the cleaning after ever finished sentence, then after every finished paragraph, and then once again after I finish the whole book, I do the general cleaning :)

Hart Johnson said...

I SO agree with you. To me, if I try to write clean, what I write is sterile. It lacks heart... (it is one of the reasons I don't write much directly on the computer... that stats brain is too tidy for the process--simple direct sentences with no voice at all)

If we haven't dug in the muck, then we are the poor kid in saddle shoes who's mum told her not to get dirty, so she just sits there sad, WISHING she could really participate.

Lynda R Young said...

Now that's a clever way to do this challenge :)

I used to polish as I went but now I pour everything out onto the page and fix later.

Jo Schaffer said...

I spew it out with a little tidying as I go. But I don't want to lose momentum on the first draft--so I dump it out and edit later.

Dawn Embers said...

Great post. Sometimes we have to get a little messy. It's an interesting topic. I wouldn't have thought about clean and writing, but it makes sense. Nicely done.

Related Posts with Thumbnails