Hating Your Work Gets You Started

WriterstartWe all want our work to be good, but when it comes to creative tasks like writing, producing something awful is often a great place to start. Having something to hate which you can edit is a lot better than having nothing at all.

PowerPoint blogger Tony Ramos outlines how the mantra "give me something to hate", mentioned to him by a former military commander, neatly summarises the importance of getting started rather than falling into the trap of striving for perfection:

“Give me something to hate,” then, is a disarming phrase. Use it on those who report to you, or those whom you work with, or even yourself. It’s an unassuming invitation to start something interesting, even if the end product is nothing like the original idea or source material. This is good. This is, in fact, ideal. It frees you to consider more possibilities than you would have normally

I've always found this a useful approach as a writer: having something on screen, even if it's just two badly-constructed sentences and a bunch of tags and sub-headings, is the best way to get going. And while we've made similar points before, in a procrastination-heavy Internet world it's always worth repeating.

For other ways of avoiding writer's block, consider using clusters or stopping mid-sentence.

Give Me Something to Hate [via Inside Office online]

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