Why Every Writer Should Learn To Write Ugly Words

Ev Chapman
April 28, 2022
2 min read

One of the best things I learned when I was a new online writer was the art of writing ugly words on a page.

You might not think there is an art to writing ugly words, but let me tell you there is. Most people are afraid of ugly words. They think it makes them a bad writer. So instead they sit and stare at a blank screen or furiously hit the delete button to erase any memory of the terribleness of it all.

So if you struggle to write ugly words, here are a few tricks that have helped me:

Have different brain dump & final essay templates. I have two sections in my Roam Research template. Brain Dump & Final Essay. When I'm in the brain dump section I know I don't have to be eloquent, I'm literally emptying my brain. And when I'm in the final essay I can spend time making my brain dump words beautiful.

Brain Dump not First Draft. There's a good reason I call it a brain dump and not my first draft. First draft implies pressure to get it 'right'. But with a brain dump I'm free to jump empty my head and take time to wrestle with the idea rather than articulate anything clearly.

Separate your brain dump writing from your final draft. Give your brain dump some space and come back to it with a fresh head. This is where you can transform those ugly words and that ideation process into a beautiful piece of art that is ready to publish.

At the end of the day claim your writing space as a NO JUDGEMENT SPACE and give yourself permission to write ugly words.

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