Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Make Mistakes Boldly

I made this as part of my keynote for last week.



I think it's something we can definitely apply to writing. Because you have a delete key, right? Anything that you've done that isn't right, or doesn't fit, or isn't working, you can fix. You can change it. Delete it.


I wish there were a few things about life that would be as easy to fix as highlighting some text and pressing one key. So don't be afraid!

Today, I say make mistakes boldly in your writing. I believe that you'll never get anywhere worth getting if you play it safe, especially in novel-writing.

Can you do it? Can you go forth today and make mistakes boldly?


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23 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

Very true. You've heard the quote "nothing ventured, nothing gained". If we don't give it all our, we won't grow from the experience.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Absolutely! I say go for it! Write the hard stuff, write of the angst that fills the human heart. Make mistakes boldly. Elana, I like that.

Christina Lee said...

*cracks knuckles* Writing more in my draft today! Thanks for the pep talk! :D

Liesel K Hill said...

Agree completely! There's a movie called Julie and Julia in which Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child. My favorite thing she says is never apologize, even when you mess it up. (I'm paraphrasing). The nice thing, as you said, is that we can fix it. So why apologize or be afraid of making mistakes? It's the only way we improve!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I worried that attempting a contemporary fantasy when I'm used to writing historical fiction and mystery may have been a mistake - but my alpha readers don't seem to think so. And I've made a TON of mistakes in the world-building of the darn thing, but I already know how most of them can be resolved in the second draft. And my protagonist makes all kinds of mistakes, but he's a 15 year old boy, so that's cool.

For the climax, I need to write a military-style attack on The Sun Pyramid in Mexico, a place I've never been (yet), and I'm sure I'll make even more mistakes. Hopefully, I can mistake my way right through to the end of this sucker!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Interesting mistakes are far better than boring storytelling. :) Great advice, Elana! I definitely make mistakes in my writing, but you're right -there's always a delete key for later. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I made a whole bunch of mistakes last night, so why not?

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh man. If only I could go back and edit my life as easily as I can edit my manuscript!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I love this post, Elana. :) I've thought over and over that the end of The Breakaway was a mistake, that all of the readers who might get angry with the ending woud confirm that I made a huge error as an author. In their eyes, yes, and it's a huge error I've made boldly and happily. In other eyes, no. Again, subjective, but whatever it ends up being to anybody, for me it was done boldly. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Absolutely!!!

Julie Dao said...

I have always, always wished that life had a Ctrl+Z so we could undo what we just did/said. That's where writing has a leg up in terms of making mistakes! :)

RaShelle Workman said...

I will! =D

Jessie Humphries said...

Bold is a B-Word! I love B-words. I will be more bold and less afraid of mistakes! I will shove a tennis ball down the throat of fear! :).

Kaylee Baldwin said...

Working on this one. It takes a lot of guts to make bold mistakes! Trying to let go of thinking everything needs to be perfect first time around.

Julie Daines said...

Excellent advice. And now that I know you, when I read your blog, in my mind I hear your voice. You have a good voice.

Marsha Sigman said...

Go Big or Go Home.

It's my motto. That and 'a friend will help you move but a good friend will help you move a body'.

Words to live by.

KarenG said...

Great topic, I love it!

Carolee Dean said...

One writer said he posted a card above his computer that said, "Dare to be bad!" My students love it when I suggest that to them!

Jemi Fraser said...

So true! Hard to do with any confidence, but easy to make those mistakes! :)

ali cross said...

YES! Love it.

DL Hammons said...

Sometimes being bold can gloss over minor mistakes. There's a few bold best sellers that exemplify that. :)

Angela Brown said...

Very good post. I'm sure I made some seriously bold mistakes during the last two to three chapters of my first draft of a story I'm working on...but I'm not sure since I was half-asleep for most of the typing and full on muscle-memory-movement when I typed the last line.

Yeah, probably so real bold mistakes lol!!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

This reminds me of the valedictorian speech in Eclipse (Twilight Series) about youth being the time make mistakes. Yes mistakes are an essential part of writing. If you haven't made a mistake, I don't you've written much of anything.

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