I’m curious, how often do you discard your drafts?

Yours is a problem I am intimately familiar with. Way back when I started writing online, I too was guilty of simply discarding my early drafts for a number of reasons: it didn’t feel good enough, I felt like I’d lost the thread of the topic somewhere midway, I got bored etc. Eventually, the gap between the number of entries in my Drafts section and my Stories section became almost embarrassingly high.

In the end, I solved that problem by resolving to not take up any new topics until I finished my backlogs. It was tiring work, and in many cases I was more than dissatisfied with the final outcome, but I stuck to it and managed to clear away a lot of articles.

It was then that I had the epiphany that led to the above article. To reiterate, sometimes you’ve got to let yourself be bad before you become good at something. It’s easier said than done, of course; particularly when you’re posting on a widely read public forum like this one. But the only way to overcome your fear of embarrassment is to continuously put yourself out there. There are no shortcuts.

So Renata, here’s my advice (if you care to take it): the next time you feel unable to complete a story out of a fear of embarrassment, just imagine that you’re writing it for yourself. Forget about writing a masterpiece or about getting a 1000 recommends, just write as though you’re writing for yourself. Write as though you are the only person who’s going to read it.

I’ve found that some of the best writing usually comes when you don’t care about who else is going to see it because you’re writing for yourself. Because it’s honest, it’s more true to yourself. . . it’s more, well, you.

Then close your eyes and hit the Publish button.

Cheers :)