on Helping Writers become Authors:
The question I want to ask today is whether sloppy writing habits are a deterrent to success, a natural and unavoidable part of the creative process, both, or neither.
I’ve never met the writer (myself included) who didn’t suffer from sloppy writing habits. These habits fall into a number of categories—everything from sloppy handwriting to sloppy writing processes to sloppy writing techniques.
“Sloppy” is an inherently negative word that reeks of frustrated parents cajoling unwashed teenagers to impose order on their personal batcaves. And yet—sloppiness also seems kind of inherent to all things creative. Indeed, some researchers have gone so far as to famously insist “a messy desk is a sign of genius.”