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It’s fashionable these days to express your lack of concern for something by rather glibly proclaiming: I have no more fucks to give.

It’s a little crude, sure. But sometimes a little well-placed crudity can cut through a lot of double talk. Casting off your cares, flinging your fucks, as it were (as it was? As it is?) is liberating. It can free your mind, boost your mood, whatever you need.

But can not giving a fuck apply to more than crappy jobs, Internet trolls, and that jerk in the restaurant on his cell phone?

Could it apply to, say, writing?

Writing, especially fiction, should be the ultimate in not giving a fuck. When you write, you’re building a world; sometimes a universe. You make all the decisions. Character names and traits. What the buildings in your city look like. Where to break the paragraphs. You can do whatever you want. Who cares if other people think Seymour is a funny name? If you like it, use it. Who cares if there’s no obvious market for “Meet the Press” fan fiction? If like it, write it. (“John McCain’s smoldering lust could not be contained by a commercial break. Mitch McConnell’s world would never be the same.”)

Writing should be freeing. It’s the ultimate “I have no fuck to give. I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT.”

Except…when you sit down to seriously write something, not just “oh, I think I’ll doodle a little story about a bunny on my iPad pages app while I wait for my chai latte”, but really, seriously write something it’s totally the opposite of freeing.

You can fall into the mindset that you’re writing a book and a book looks a certain way – whatever that is for you. You get bogged down in stuff like word counts and linear plotting and getting every detail of the backstory of the characters down before you even start the front story.

All that is important – but not right away. What’s important right away is getting the story out. Get everything out of your head and onto the page, you can cut mercilessly later. Just get it out now. I haven’t always been good at that, by which I mean I’ve never been good at that. Often then, the writing process feels stilted and awkward. And most of all, slow. I’ve probably wasted lots of writing time this way.

But, no time for regrets. No time to waste. My hopper is full of tales to tell, worlds to build. So much stuff to give, except…

Well, you know.


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