Should you really write for the garbage bin?
I’ve heard it said before that journalism is the first rough draft of history and that journalism is written to be read once but literature is written to be read twice.
But when I read the following writing advice I almost spat blood: “Try to keep the mindset that you are writing for the garbage bin.” These are fighting words.
Taken in the spirit of trying to do away with perfectionism it’s good advice. Get out of your own way so that you can get the first draft down.
Writing is rewriting. You can’t edit a blank page. Don’t get it right, just get it written.
Like Anne Lamott said: “For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.”
But do you really think so little of your writing that you think you’re writing for the garbage bin?
Is that really the best you can hope for your work?
You do yourself a disservice. You’re a much better writer than you give yourself credit for. Don’t sell yourself short.
Nothing good will ever come of writing beneath your means. It’s ok to fail, or to make repeated attempts, but it’s not ok to not even try.
Write with delirious abandon. Write drunk. Write angry. Write whatever the hell you want.
But write to be read — or to have written— do not write for the bin.