Feeling all warm and GUI

I had 74 ideas written on the Sticky Notes app on my computer since last July.

I’m happy to say a half dozen of these ideas became Medium posts. And yet the other 70 ideas sit there still on those same Sticky Notes, just winking at me daily.

“You’re not going to flesh out any of these ideas are you,” they taunt.

Nope, I say. Too mundane. Too personal, too time-consuming. I’d have to re-read the book I’m referencing, or the movie, or the video.

I’ll save writing that for when I’m in the mood to put some snappy phrases in there. The topic is great, but my mood is so-so tonight.

Another day.

Jeff Goins is right. I really need to free write rather than edit on the fly. That was his advice in Monday’s email in the #my500words writing challenge that he’s doing.

Jeff Goins’ Three Bucket System

Jeff’s writing system distinctly divides the writing process into three buckets: generating ideas, writing, and editing. Go check out Jeff’s post for details. He explains it much better than I could.

But I know he’s right.

I know he’s right because, look at those 74 ideas just sitting there. Right there under this Window of MS Word that I’m typing into.

I know I’m a perfectionist. That’s not news. Maybe it’s not news to you either. Maybe we’re in that club, that boat. Whatever the metaphor is. Or is it a simile? Thinking like that can derail me.

So I can just chuckle to myself and leave in my wandering wondering, or I can pause and open another tab to straighten it all out before I type another word.

Thankfully I’m letting perfectionism go, layer by layer, like an onion.

It’s true the only way out is through.

The only way to be a writer is to write.

Trite? Not to me. I call these phrases tried and true. I know what I need to do.

Just keep writing. Swimming. All the –ings.

Because I want to be in that arena, like Brene Brown says. Her famous Teddy Roosevelt quote. Go Google it if you’re curious. I’ve got a draft to finish.

Just made myself smile.

It’s easier if there isn’t a rule, but guidelines do help. Challenges help keep me engaged and accountable. The easy-to-use Medium interface makes me feel warm and GUI when I see my chosen photo and headline with my byline.

I’m a writer, and it feels good to say that I’ve been writing.

I’ve been reading, as well. In fact, it’s Jeff Goins again who I’ve read tonight. The editor in my head briefly speed bumped me as I said “it is he” and decided, yes it is the nominative rather than the objective case…or something. I would’ve used whom if I had to, but I’m not fond of it. Besides, I think it’s called “predicate nominative.” Or should the case match the verb “read”? 

Do you see what I do to myself?

We all do. I can’t imagine I’m different from anyone else. I haven’t got more chatter in my head than most people, yet I doubt I’ve got less.

I like to get the grammar right, though, and I like to read a writer whose intellectual capacity is beyond mine. I like to stretch. I like to hear what I haven’t heard, even if I might wander and wonder in some of the same ways the author does.

Jeff’s email contained a link to his blog about the most transformative year of his life. Jeff’s a smart, reflective guy, so I read his article in chunks as I did some reading on Medium.

I’m still digesting what he wrote, and I’ll probably go back and listen to the audio. Meanwhile, I’ve created a draft for a Medium post, and that is a success to me.

I want to be part of the mix, contributing ideas out in the world and being delighted with the ideas I find from better writers and more insightful humans than I. 

It’s a privilege to be a part of it all.

I’m the kind of person who supports public radio.
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I’m the kind of person who supports public radio.

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