Quick Reminder: Your Art Doesn't Have to Be Good

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For the entirety of winter break, I failed to put pen to paper (or, well, I guess, finger to keypad) for any sort of writing. Not Her Campus articles, poems or even stupid Tumblr textposts. There was no actual reason for this, other than that I kept telling myself that couldn’t write anything good “right now.” “Right now” was supposed to be the day, or at most, a week. Good writing, I was confident, would come to me.

 

But it didn’t.

 

We often fool ourselves into thinking, when putting forth effort into anything artistic, that it needs to be good right off of the bat. That it needs to be digestible the moment it exits our brains. We might accept that all of our creations need some form of fixing after being made—proofreading, erasing or backspaces. But underneath that acceptance lies the other myth that what we’re fixing needs to be completely palatable to begin with. So what happens when we can’t fulfill that? We fail to do anything, largely. We call this writer’s block. An off-day. Burnout.

 

I just want to remind you that you can write a block of text in which you try to spell the word “bologna” phonetically, and that will be art. You can draw a stick figure stabbing a turkey, and it will be art. It doesn’t matter if it’s not something you’d submit to a journal or gallery. It’s something to get your brain and fingers moving. You owe it to no one for your rough drafts to be anything more than rough. You will only hurt yourself by thinking otherwise. I missed out on an entire month’s worth of potential practice because I was afraid to have something incomprehensible sitting in my drafts. But all art starts off just as that—incomprehensible, before you form it something worthwhile. Why deny yourself of the very first step of art? It would be like refusing to bake bread because it starts off as inedible dough.

 

Open your rough drafts again. It’s time to get to work.

 

 

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