"Dare to be bad."
This is what my jazz teacher said in the middle of dance class last night, to try to push some younger students into taking more chances. He went on to say "I'd much rather have you be over the top and have to tell you 'That's too much, now, sweetie, tone it down'. It's much easier to get you to scale it back than to get you up to performance level to begin with."
As in dance, so in writing, I think.
"Dare to be bad" is not a new concept for me. DTBB was our motto in my college theater group. It was amazingly liberating. I mean, what's the worst that can happen on stage? You can suck. Furthermore, you're going to suck. Guaranteed. Sometimes you just suck.
But once you get over your fear of sucking? That fearlessness translates into a confidence that takes you places you were always afraid to go, before. And once you've made a bad choice, you've eliminated somethiing that doesn't work and are one step closer to finding something that does work.
Same with the page. So you write a scene, chapter, sequence that sucks. It's just paper. Throw it away. Use what you just learned to write something better.
Don't mind me, I'm just speaking to myself, here, because I'm having performance anxiety about my third book. But hearing those particular words coming out of my teacher's mouth last night reminded me - you get nowhere in dance, writing or life - without risk.
Dare to be bad.
Hah. This week, I am fearless. ;)