Why your teacher was probably wrong
I used to hate writing when at school. Assignments and essays used to send me into a spin – I’d panic at the thought of a 500 word deadline. Most of the time they wouldn’t get done or the attempt was so pathetic it was embarrassing.
Today is different. Some people say I’ve got some special talent for writing – this makes me laugh because I know how bad I used to be. At least now I can churn out the words, it’s not uncommon for me to write 2000 words in a single sitting. Writing has become much easier.
So what’s the secret?
The big answer is traditional teaching for writing is all wrong. We’re taught to be perfect, to edit as we go along and absolutely ensure there are no spelling mistakes.
The problem with this lot is it kills creativity. The part of your brain required to write and the one for editing are chalk and cheese. So there’s conflict – a big nasty mess of confusion and frustration.
But when you write like there’s no tomorrow. When you write first and worry later things start to happen. And the best part? You can come back later and do and edit and make some changes. You get the best of both worlds as you are working with your system rather than against it.
Golf instruction is the same. It’s drilled into us to swing correctly – to not make a mistake and try hard to adhere to the swing model rules.
This is all but impossible and one reason so many of us have a golf game like an awkward writer – jerky, nervous and lacking flow. We get the equivalent of writer’s block.
Even those reaching out to the automatic golf kind of way get lost – they try too hard and think too much – they want it so bad that they forget to get out of their own way and play the game.
If you want to write, then write. If you want to be a better golfer then play the game. You can always do the editing when you’ve mastered the art of getting out of your own way.
And the best part?
When you stop trying to be perfect. When you appreciate mistakes are part of the learning process. And when you understand the difference between fixing and playing you need a whole lot less of the editing process. You get things “correct” far more often the first time.
The teaching system may be broken, but you’re learning system is not. Go play, write, create, jump and do art. It’s all fun
Footnote: This article took 13 minutes to write and required almost no editing 🙂