Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Vomiting On The Page

“No writing is a waste of time – no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good.”
 ― Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and spirit (1938).

Somewhere in that book I first came across the idea of vomiting your first draft as quickly as COVID-19 makes you run to the toilet! 

Pamela Hodges (pamelahodges.com) wrote an interesting article on the subject. Here are a few notes I stole from her  -- what she calls a "Vomit Draft."

Vomit is Disorganized:  Literal vomit is not neatly organized like the food was originally presented on your plate. A vomit draft is similar to digested food in a toilet bowl.

Vomiting Prevents Hesitation:  Like a virus prevents hesitation, approaching your writing like vomiting allows you to avoid the internal editor, fight resistance, and get the words on the page.

The Slow Dance of Perfection: Write first, edit later. Vomit now, clean up later.  It’s called the vomit draft, too, because it will both stink and be pretty much everything you’ve got inside you. But in there is beauty and success and everything you ever dreamed of.  Go ahead, vomit.

Celebrate the Vomit Draft: Celebrate completion, not perfection. Celebrate your imperfect vomit draft -- maybe with saltine crackers and Sprite like my Mom use to give me when I was sick.

Brenda Ueland would tell you that this applies to all art -- writing, music, painting, etc.  Be careless.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Be reckless. Create your vision and imagination with enthusiasm and joy!

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