Messy Writing



"I was up this morning, early, working on a story;

and it is a mess.

I don’t know what’s going to happen.
I don’t know how it’s going to happen.
But yet, I keep showing up each morning.

I’ve been writing for 24 years now and I’ve learned a few things:


1. Nothing happens unless I show up.
2. The story is smarter than I am, but
3. The story has to be a mess before it can be
made better, and also:
4. Nothing happens unless I show up.


I am writing this all down here to remind myself--

to give myself hope and comfort.

And for all you writers out there:

maybe it will give you some hope and comfort, too."


- Kate DiCampo

author dozens of books including Because of Winn Dixie



Award-winning author, Kate DiCamp, published this on her Facebook page this week. It encouraged me and I hope it encourage you. 


What does it mean to be a writer? It means to show up. It means to WRITE MESSY. Because unless we show up and write messy then a story cannot be formed.


"The story has to be a mess before it can be made better." 


Many days, I sit at my computer and stare at the blank screen. Nothing comes out. I'm stuck. I don't write because I don't want to put imperfect words down on paper. So I wait. And I don't write. I wait some more. But you know what? The perfect words never come this way. They only come when I write down the mess. Only when the mess has been written can the true polishing begin. 


Most creative work is messy. Artists have to be willing to get their hands dirty. Then they stick with it until perfection emerges. But it only starts out with a mess -- a lump of clay, an array of paint brushes, or mismatched words.


So what are you waiting for? Jump in and write messy. 

WRITING PROMPT: Take a few minutes to zone into your story. Think about your characters and the messy situation they live in. Don't worry about crafting the perfect sentences or including every needed detail. Climb in your character and start writing. Let the mess come out on paper. Write or draw whatever comes out. Just let it flow. 




Photo Source: SwapnIl Dwivedi on




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CAROLYN BENNET FRAISER is a published writer and creative writing instructor in Brevard, North Carolina, where she enjoys helping youth find their passion for writing. 

Carolyn is available to speak to children and youth about creative writing at your school or special event. 

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@ 2019 CAROLYN BENNETT FRAISER. All Rights Reserved.