write on

December 7, 2020

“Don’t be afraid to write badly,” says author, and comedy writer, Bess Kalb. “Just get it on the page. Don’t get precious. Don’t worry if it’s good….. because occasionally, good things come out of it.” I love this advice. So many ideas live in a vault because we don’t think they’re good enough to be released. And a lot of the time, they aren’t. But as Kalb says, once in a while there comes a gem –– a rough diamond that we cut and polish –– that turns into something beautiful. We don’t find the diamonds without sifting through the stones. I’ve written a lot of shit over the years, and by shit, I mean words that look pretty on a page, but are too self conscious to have any kind of impact. I’ve also written sentences, that with very few words, none that require a dictionary, perfectly capture a feeling. That always feels like a triumph. Simple, honest writing. There’s a freedom in releasing a thought to the page. At least it’s not rattling about in that tin box upstairs. Spew it out. Tidy up later. And yes, “don’t be afraid to write badly.” In her warm and human memoir, told from the perspective of her beloved grandmother, Kalb does what every writer strives to do; take all the rough edged stones collected over years and turn them into a diamond.


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