After writing a ton yesterday, reading it back to myself and hitting delete, I had a moment of emptiness. Just the thought of spending hours, wasting them in fact, cut a little deeper than expected.
I’ve written and deleted before, but yesterday was different. I thought I was on to something. What I was putting on paper felt right, it felt like I had something to say. On reading it back just once, I realised I clearly didn’t.
So I lay back, and had an argument with myself. Fighting the urge to delete everything I’d ever written. It was difficult. Who am I to think anything I’ve written, posted, or created for a novel is good and worthy of others to see.
I thought back to a phrase an old acquaintance once told me. I’m not a fan of it but I think I finally understand it. ‘You’ve got to know when to kill your babies’. The words themselves make you wide eyed and almost gasp in horror. But it relates to what you hold dear. Back then it was used by a sous chef, to a head chef…me. His point was that even if you’ve worked hard on a dish, if you’re not happy with the outcome, know when to keep going or get rid completely.
Thinking of this phrase with a similar horror at it’s words, I finally found relief in it’s meaning. Whether or not this piece of writing deserved to be erased is irrelevant. I wasn’t happy with it. In future I know I need to think more rationally. Take a step back, as my mum says, close down the page and come back to it. Then make that decision and be okay with it.
Know when to take a step back, evaluate and proceed. Sounds easy as I read it back. But it’s a sound piece of advice, one I hope I put in to action…..