Some stories seem to refuse to go out. Like it was rainy or too cold.
You don’t like them once they’re written, and they get worse when edited.
Being trashed is usually their final stage.
Someone physically trashes, someone virtually trashes, someone just goes on, someone publishes and lets those words fertilize the soil.
Someone has a folder.
Actually, I have a folder with two types of trashed drafts, prefixed A or B. Type B is “decent idea, you may try rewriting me if everything else is done, which we both know is never,” type A is more like “forget me.”
Well, yesterday I tried to edit one of my current drafts, and nothing good came out of it. Moved to trash.
At that point, I realized “Gosh, I’ve plenty of other current drafts that deserve the trash can. I should Marie Kondo them.”
But in a moment of weakness, instead of putting more drafts in the trash folder, I gave a look to the forgotten relics in that trash folder. I picked one dusty story, from almost one year ago, and started to read.
“Oh! Not okay, but not bad!”
I mumbled a little bit and tweaked a couple of parts.
Better. Still not perfect, for my taste, but better. It’s a pity to let this collect dust.
Good? I don’t know, but I want to share it, and it’s “shareable.”
I’ve only a dozen of stories which has been picked by Medium curators. I try to fit only my editorial taste, and that’s not good for success. To be honest, I don’t have this problem just in writing.
So, being curated is quite rare for me. I admit that my ambition and my bank account would like to have more curated stories, but it’s true that I never try to be curated. My choice.
However, having a story curated out of my trash means something.
To be precise, it’s not a bad story. Medium curators have not picked a bad story. On the contrary. I like it. Now.
You may have guessed that I have the same disease of many other writers. Perfectionism.
And I’m fine with that disease. It’s the same disease that let me write pieces that I’m proud to share.
But this is not a world for perfectionists.
I know that you know a few successful perfectionists. But be honest. They’re not just perfectionists. They’ve hundreds of skills that you’ll never have. Like sleeping four hours per day. Or convincing hordes of customers. Or talking with investors and politicians. Maybe by phone. Or taking huge risks.
Or just leave home and speak to people in person.
Truth is that you’ll need to live with the compromise. Even in your creative world.
Like the perfectionists that you know actually did.
And you need to publish.
Of course, you’ll also need to step out of your comfort zone. But this is a story for another time.
I won’t put my perfectionism at sleep, but this episode was indeed a lesson for me.
I’ll still trash. But I’ll try to revive some outcast story, from time to time. And maybe be a bit more clement with my editing.
Now, if you excuse me, I’ll give a better look to the other story that I trashed yesterday before picking the curated story.
Originally published at www.insideblogging.net on March 28, 2019.