My laptop houses thousands of words that will likely never see the destiny for which they were born. Some of them I’ll be able to drag back from the abyss, but there are bits and pieces of books and articles that will remain bits and pieces for the duration of laptop eternity. And as you know, that’s a long time.
As writers, we are all in the same boat. We try things, and sometimes the experiment works and sometimes it doesn’t. We think we know exactly how the book is going to turn out, but later we discover the main character needs to be a woman, not a man. Or a veterinarian, not a lawyer. Or the book’s tone at the beginning is completely different by the end—it’s like the book was written by two different people. And so we scrap the key parts, or perhaps the whole thing, and start over.
What do you do when you have this strong desire to write, but it kind of feels like you’re wasting time?
Your Efforts Are Going Somewhere
It is very easy for us to feel like we are messing up, that maybe we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing or we’re not doing it well. We just put in hundreds of hours into this thing we’re writing, and we’ve thrown out more words than we’ve kept.
But when you’re a writer, nothing is ever wasted. All that effort you just put into this book is taking you somewhere. You are doing something of great worth, so don’t stop here, when you’re frustrated. Producing, reducing, throwing out, starting over, editing, reediting, reimagining—these are all part of the writing process. You are doing fine.
God is big into redemption. Just as He can redeem the most unlikely parts of your life story, He can do the same thing with your writing. He can take hold of the messy places that are written so poorly you wouldn’t ever want anyone to read them, and He can use them for your benefit, as well as for the benefit of others.
Everything you put to paper is worth it if for no other reason than you are learning. You’re getting better. You are growing.
When Ink Turns to Gold
I have written thousands upon thousands of words that ended up just being training—a dry run. But they still counted toward something. I am where I am today because of them. God chose to work with me even when all I produced was a mess.
Every word you write is gold, in one way or another. When you sit down to write, you are increasing your wealth, and one day your account will pay out in incredible ways.
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