Bent Wrists Lesson 9: Cheer Camp for Writers

We’ve had a lot of lessons so far.  Feel free to go back and rehash old material.  Writing lessons never get old.  You finish one story…and it’s back to the drawing board to start again.

Now in any sports event (except maybe curling) there are cheerleaders to motivate the team and spur them on to action and winning!  When you write, it’s important to have your own cheer squad—a friend, spouse, kids…a dog…yourself–because a cheer squad is vital to success!

Learn these 4 cheers and you will be unstoppable in writing!  I’m dead serious!  These cheers are magic and will help motivate you to write like nothing else can (except maybe Zombies).

Ready…begin!  Imagine swirling pompoms and long legs kicking in the air and dazzling smiles and exuberant voices as you do these.  It doesn’t work as well if you conjure up some scruffy hobo stalking you and saying the same thing.  Image counts!  Remember Lesson 5.


Let’s shout, let’s cheer!
Messes mean victory is near!
Author’s my name;
Writing’s my game!
Neat and orderly’s for the insane
Messy Writers can’t be beat!
Out of chaos — victory sweet!
Woooooooo!  Writers!

There is a subliminal message in this cheer.  If you record yourself screaming it and then play it backwards, this phrase:  “Don’t be afraid to make a mess,” can be heard.  Try it.

I used to try to be neat and orderly and try to write each page of my story how it would show up in a book someday.   That’s why I didn’t write more than about a page for over 15 years.  That method is daunting and makes you feel like an imbecile.

“I can’t write!”

The Mona Lisa.

It’s like expecting your toddler to paint the Mona Lisa when you give them a brush and some oils.  It’s not happening.  But if you give them finger paints and let them go to town on some butcher paper, you might get a Jackson Pollock.

It’s the same with writing.  When you start making a mess and have fun with your writing, the masterpiece will happen.  It starts with mess though. Accept messes as inevitable and good!  They are!

Cheer #2:

You might be good at basketball
You might be good at track,
But when it comes to writing bad
You might as well step back
Uh-huh!  You might as well step back!
Writing bad is mighty fun!
It’s not sad, but gets things done!
So you might as well step back
Uh-huh!  You might as well step back!

You must write badly first.  Mona Lisa isn’t going to appear on your canvas until after lots of bad first attempts.  Accept that sometimes your writing will make you gag.  Don’t throw away your bad attempts though and run off sobbing because you’re not a good writer!  You can be.  Just step back, like the cheer says, and have fun with the ugh, bad and the ugly.  The good will come later (the movie had it out of order).

Cheer #3 

2 – 4 – 6 – 8
What do we appreciate?
Mistakes!  Mistakes!  Mistakes!

English: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, one with ...

It’s true!  Mistakes aren’t bad.  They lead to discovery.  Many inventions and yummy concoctions have been the result of mistakes.  Scientists try to create something—but then they make a mistake and Wham!  the lightbulb is invented…or Reeses Peanut butter cups.

Creative, inventive people have a lot more good ideas than normal people do, but they also have a lot more bad ideas.  The point is…they have A LOT of ideas because they just let everything out.  Practice doing that and you’ll be amazed at all your ideas.  Allowing yourself to be bad is the best way to become good.  Weird, huh?  Writing is art in progress.

Cheer #4

I’m not a Quitter from Quitter Town
No darn Quitter can knock me down
If you don’t like my apples,
Don’t shake my tree
Because I’m a Go-Getter
Don’t mess with me!

Don’t ever give up.  Keep writing no matter what.  The more you write, the better you’ll be.  So come on Writing Friends…and join me.  GOOOOOO Writers!  (Sorry.  I’m still in cheer mode)  Now go practice your cheers and get winning–I mean writing!  Woohooo!


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20 thoughts on “Bent Wrists Lesson 9: Cheer Camp for Writers

  1. It is always hard to just leave what I wrote and not try to tidy it up. But I’ve found if I am always seeking perfection of my last output, I never really move ahead. Thanks for showing me I’m not the only one and for ways to get past this unproductive need. Hip Hip Hooray!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Carrie. It sometimes is hard to leave something untidy (and then other times it is a blessing to leave it…and you hope to never see it again!) When I’m not having fun with writing, then something’s wrong…right?

  2. Getting those first drafts out can be SO hard! They’re not good. But once they’re out there, we’ve got the big picture. Then we can start the hard work of making them sound good. I try to remember I shouldn’t waste time editing too much on the first draft. After all, some of those scenes won’t make the final cut.

    (Of course, the editing practice probably doesn’t hurt.)

    Now, to get my inner cheerleader working on dialogue edits!

    • Ah, dialogue! I love it. Rah, rah, rah, rah! Good luck editing it! (Sorry, it doesn’t rhyme. My husband is bugging me and I’ve got to go.) Talk to you later.

  3. I enjoy all stages of the writing process, but first drafts are my favorite, actually. Because that’s when I let myself have fun. That’s when I’m enjoying the fact I’m a writer.

    When it’s time to sculpt it, that’s serious business. I just have to go into a different writer mode, but it’s still enjoyable.

    • I agree. There are different ‘fun’ modes for writers. I enjoy first drafts when the idea is fighting to get out of me, but when I’m sloshing around hoping insight will find me as I freewrite and brainstorm, I don’t always take pleasure in that. I absolutely love, love, love editing once the story is written. It’s fun to see a story come to life as I add more setting details, work the language around to give subtle clues to characters, etc.

  4. Got the spirit? Let’s hear it! Thanks for the inspiring post. I used to write for a living, then switched gears, and in the past year, I returned to it through a gardening blog (thanks for visiting, by the way). The journey and encouragement and process has been amazing — particuarly as it taps into my creativity and saves my sanity. Cheers!

    • You got the cheers down great, it sounds like! Keep up the good work on your blog. I like the humorous twist to your gardening posts so that it isn’t just boring planting stuff (not that gardening’s boring; it’s fun…but it can be tedious to read about sometimes; thankfully, yours isn’t, and that’s why I keep coming back).

  5. rah rah rah
    sis boom bah
    Char’s got a paragraph
    in the top three … wait, that doesn’t rhyme.

    congrats on being one of the Top Three paragraphs in the challenge! 🙂 I just got the results posted.

    • You rhyme like I do on the spur of the moment. I still like your cheer! Thanks for this fun challenge. I’ve had so much fun doing it.

  6. Love it, love it!
    Shout it, shout it.
    Char’s the best!
    Char’s the best!
    i just saw on AccidentalNovelist that your line got used by another person & won & your paragraph won too!! Congrats!!

  7. sounds like char needs to let us family members know about some of her contest winnings and stuff! How can I think you are even more amazing than I already do, if you don’t let me know all these things you’re winning?!

    • I won a book just for commenting on an author review on one site. I was pretty pumped about that…since it was all random luck. I love random luck.

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  9. Great post! I loved the cheers. Funny you mention Jackson Pollock…that is kind of what I do in first draft stage. Gotta love an excuse to fling ink at the canvas of your manuscript and watch the masterpiece emerge… You won’t know unless you fling the ink. 🙂

    • That’s why the first stage of writing can be so much fun! Fling, fling, splatter, smack! Just write what comes off the tip of your tongue brain. Thanks for commenting.

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