On gaining inspiration from drafts
Typically, we want to delete a draft because we don’t think it’s well enough for the world to read. We probably created the piece on the spur of the moment and didn’t think it had potential to be published. I challenge you to save all of your drafts.
Read your drafts, from time to time, and make them better. You are your biggest critic, after all. If the draft really didn’t make the cut delete it, but allow it to sit for at least three weeks. You’ll notice the change in attitude and may even tweak it. You’ll be surprised as to what can actually be a monumental piece.
Don’t delete your drafts so quickly. Give them a chance to get “cold.” By getting “cold” I mean they are bit older than usual. You haven’t read them lately and you’re not pressed to change too much of the content. If anything, you’re surprised that you wrote it and can’t wait to make some minor edits.
Just when you start to feel writer’s block it’s time to set the piece to the side. While editing it can be easy to also edit. That’s not what getting cold is about. It’s about that small moment that you allow your work to breathe. It has to restore its energy in order for your creative juices to flow.
Drafts are great for picking through. At times, you may have beautiful words in one piece that just aren’t good enough for the topic. If you allow those words to sit there instead of trashing them you can use them in a different work. It’s amazing how after we’ve written something out we instantly forget about it. But, if we have something that was previously used on hand then it’s easy to recycle thoughts and ideas. Break your drafts apart. Put them back together, again… and again.
Do this until you find yourself astonished at what you created.