Hi Madelyn! I used to struggle with this so much, and I still do sometimes, but I’m learning how to change it.
Here’s what I suggest:
1. Just write. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
― Jodi Picoult
That quote always motivates me! Just get your thoughts down, even if it’s garbage. Give yourself the freedom to write messy words!
2. Set a timer and see how much you can write!
I use something called The Most Dangerous Writing App, which times you (you can pick how long you write) and if you stop writing for a few seconds it’ll delete what you’ve written so far. I started with three minutes, because I was too scared I’d lose all my progress. But as long as you write steadily, no matter how bad it sounds, you can get so many words down!
3. Leave the editing and perfection for when you are actually editing
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
— Terry Pratchett
First, tell the story to yourself. Even if it’s choppy, or doesn’t quite make sense, just do your best and keep going. Then afterwards, when you’re ready to edit, you have something to work with and you can pull out your editing mindset! Fix all those stiff sentences and awkward phrases. Make it amazing. But don’t let perfection stop you from getting your words on the page.
I hope that helps! This is what I do, and I’ve heard other opinions too, so I’d love to hear what everyone else says! 🙂
Courage, dear heart ~ Aslan