Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fighting Writersblock

... (continued from below)... So how to beat this Procrastination and Perfection problem? The answers, as usual, did not come from me.

Before my re-emergence into full time photography, I was charged with being a voice within corporate America... namely a big four accounting firm. To say I was in over my head was an understatement. My poor boss had to repeatedly correct my on my technical mistakes in particular... let's just say "hooked on foniks didn't werk for mee!" I was sent to training like all the others except this training was special... it was with the company known for being the leaders in communications training. I still look back and know their workshop was one of the most valuable ones I've attended... if even for this advice alone....

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It was the president of the company, Mark Ragan, that solved my problem. He didn't believe in writersblock.... only in a) not having enough information and/or b) trying to be perfect the first time around and never getting anything down on paper because of it.

Thus, the solution is simple...
a) brainstorm and gather additional information. Let the ideas flow freely... do not dismiss an idea until you've dumped everything out on paper. Make google your friend. Seek advice, input, facts, and examples from others. That should solved the lack-of-information problem.

b) then ... in Mark's words... "Write Cra*!" Yep, he says the best way to fight the perfection problem is to try to write garbage... something not perfect... something you'd never think of showing another living, breathing organism. Some people call this "free writing." The thing about this is you have to keep writing until the whole story is on paper... THEN, and only then do you go back and edit, edit, edit. You have to have a chunk of clay before you can sculpt it into something beautiful or worthwhile.

Over the years, I've seen that this concept work in other areas as well. If it's taking forever to get an album design complete, we simply let go of perfection and finish it. It's the editing process that will bring it to it's perfect form... and that comes with the help of many others including the client.

I bet there's some piece of work (ahhem... like all the original bios missing from websites) that's been neglected because you can't find the words or inspiration... I dare you to try Mark's method. Try gathering more information, write cra*, then edit, edit, edit. I dare say that even if it's far from perfection the world will be a better place because of it ... because it's REAL.

But that's a whole other topic....

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