I believe that one key to success as a blogger or writer is being comfortable with writing garbage.

As writers we want our writing to be GOOD.

Nothing wrong with that. Many of us are perfectionists deed down inside. We want to write and we want to always write well.

Because we want all those things we find it hard to write for an audience. We fear our words not being up to par with what we think they should. We are our greatest critics. It is awesome to be good editors but that makes no sense when we don’t publish anything.

Our perfectionism keeps us from actually writing content. We stare at the screen, waiting for that perfect blog post to come to mind, and when it doesn’t happen we blame a lack of inspiration or motivation. 

But, on the magical days when we do pound out some good “inspired” content, we then go back to read that awesome post and it doesn’t quite read like it was in our minds. Disappointment ensues making it harder to write again next time.

The cycle goes on and on until finally the inspiration and motivation are pretty much gone.

And then the dream of being a writer goes down the drain.

I have dreamed of being a writer for many years.

I think it started sometime in elementary school. I had seen the movie “Dances with Wolves” and was totally smitten with the story. Then I thought, “Hey! I could totally write a story like that. I have thoughts. I have ideas!” That was the first time I got the writing bug.

Then as I went to school I always enjoyed the writing assignments. I could always write a killer paper and I would rather be assigned a paper than take a test any day. I would ace essay tests and bomb multiple choice tests. Then I went on to college to be a history major Guess what that means? Yep. TONS of writing!!! And I loved it.

 

I am good at writing and writing a lot.

So, why not be a professional writer?! The dream grew bigger and bigger over the years.

There was something that always bit me in the butt. I would allow the dream to come up for air every few years or so and would be thrilled to FINALLY be living the dream of being a writer. I would spit out all the articles that I had been wanting to write for a long time.

YES!! Living the dream!!

Then the ideas would start to slow down and the “Inspiration” would go wither up. And with the declining inspiration would go the desire to write.

Then I would doubt my ability to be a writer. A “true” writer would be able to put out a ton of quality content, right? Guess I’m not a true writer then. 

The common element in these seasons was that I would only write when I was inspired or motivated.

I would keep a notebook full of ideas but my sensitive self would eventually whimper and whine that the ideas were no good and would throw the notebook away…again. Yes, I can be extremely emotional.

There is something that sets this time apart from the rest.

I have learned to embrace writing garbage.

I would say that probably about 80% of my daily writing is not even publishable.  My daily writing consists of a whole lot of stream of consciousness, ooey gooey feelings, crying, yelling at God, or even menu planning or marathon training planning. But, in the midst of all those words are words that I write to all of you.

I mine through the rocks and dirt of daily writing and find the gems of writing that I publish. Click To Tweet

See the key point here?

DAILY WRITING.

I write at least 1000 words a day. The vast majority of those words are words that no one ever sees but me. But, in those words are words that YOU get to read. Sometimes you do get to read some of the more raw entries (here and here).

I’ve learned to embrace, and to actually love writing, garbage and in embracing the garbage I am finding the jewels.

 
 

 

 
 

Stock Image Credit:
Gary Chan

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15 comments on “Writer’s Life: Learn to Embrace the Garbage”

  1. I need to do this! I used to journal, but somehow let that habit slip away. It would really help with the blog as well. And yes, I get frustrated too, when wha I write doesn’t sound like me. It’s ususlly when I’m trying to hard, and over thinking it. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Thanks for the encouragement!!! I love those kinds of posts too!! There needs to be more of them. 🙂 Keep up the good work!!!

  2. This is SO true! I struggle hard with perfectionism, and my inner dialogue often goes much like what you described. I get frustrated when I can’t get an essay just right on the first draft, and I think, “Well, I guess I’m a terrible writer after all.” But I know by now that it takes so many drafts and so many cut words and so much garbage to get to the gems.

  3. I do my daily writing in a private blog (my eyes only). Sometimes I journal my thoughts. Sometimes I write a rough first draft of what I intend to make a post at my public blog. Sometimes I write a piece of the rough draft and then switch to journaling about how the ideas are not flowing that day.

  4. The perfectionist struggle is so real! Thanks for the encouragement to keep going and don’t let the stress of trying to make my words outstanding actually paralyze my writing.

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