Why I deleted the post I spent almost 8 hours writing.

I woke up very early today, I was struggling to sleep.

I had a blog post tumbling around in my head, it was waking me up as I tried to make sense of the story.

I opened my lap top and began to write, it was not making sense.

I kept writing, it was not improving.

I still kept writing, it was getting worse.

writing

I made a pot of tea then returned and wrote some more.

Ate my muesli while writing.

I finally stepped away, the post had become a mess, my mind wandering off on hundreds of tangents.

The shower always helps, off I went.

I came back and frustratingly my mind picked up where I left off.

It was at this point I instinctively knew I should let this one go.  Clearly my thoughts were not all there, this message not ready to completely come out.

Instead, I tried to force it out.

I had invested hours of my early morning, time ignoring the kids, time not doing anything but slamming away on my keyboard and pulling at my hair.

My stubbornness and determination took over, I was not going to quit.  I would make this blog post work no matter what.

At exactly 1.53pm this afternoon I stood back and I looked at the mess of jumbled sentences all over my screen.

I pressed delete.

Relief swept over me and inspiration returned.

Success is pushing through resistance and not giving up.  Success is also knowing when to pause, when to change direction and even when to begin again.

There is no shame in letting go and starting over.

Have you ever started over, what did you learn?

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Comments

  1. Oh I hear you loud and clear Karen. Initially “delete” is not possible. Not an option in fact. Then as time slips away I spend more time worrying about the piece not gelling than the content of the piece. Sometimes walking away and coming back works. But when it doesn’t I have to summon the courage, poke out my finger and horrors — push delete.
    Love that you turned this action into your post. Bet the writing of it just flew!
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted…Still Blossoming at 91My Profile

  2. Starting over is hard.. Especially when I’ve put SO MUCH effort into it. But the experience gaiNed from the failed attempt helps – and it makes things smoother for subsequent tries.
    Kim recently posted…Motivation and Action: Which comes first?My Profile

  3. Oh…I so get this. Been there…done that. I have a little sticky note that says: ‘gotta let go to flow and grow’. And I try to remind myself of it everyday.

    What a great post – :-)!

  4. I can relate to this post of letting and knowing there is no shame in doing so. I’ve had to let go and start over many times..but then I learned coming back at it, I am much stronger. Not that I have my own strength but the strength that came through me surrendering to prayer and faith in God to get the job done. Great post!
    Yvonne I. Wilson recently posted…The Accident That Almost…..My Profile

  5. I’ve been that and done that too..however nowadays I leave more in Draft status and revisit it later to see if it is worth reworking or sending to trash instead.
    Dominique Goh recently posted…Writer’s Workshop: You Can Say that AgainMy Profile

  6. I don’t ‘delete’ as often as I used to….I prefer to ‘save’ mine in my journal. I have found bits and pieces of insight among the rubble at times.
    Debbie Goode recently posted…Buster 5My Profile

  7. There have been many times when a post just doesn’t flow from me the way it should. There is an idea floating in my head and I kind of know what I want to say but it just doesn’t happen. Some thoughts are just meant to be internal and not shared. Learning which ones those are and having the strength to hit that delete key is empowering and freeing for your soul.
    Kat recently posted…ReflectionMy Profile

  8. Well said! I’ve definitely experienced this, both as a blogger and in other aspects of my life. SO important to be able to evaluate what is going on and feel able to stop or start again.
    Jen E recently posted…10 things your kids can say that you can’t.My Profile

  9. Love this… “Success is pushing through resistance and not giving up. Success is also knowing when to pause, when to change direction and even when to begin again.”

    Best advice of the day! I think we’ve all been there. This post goes well with reflection, too.

  10. Truer words have never been written! I loved the part about the shower, where I have spent up to 20 minutes composing a blog post in my head while all lathered up. Relief often comes to me many days later when an old idea just finally is re-born in a different light. It’s cathartic. Loved this post! Visiting from Mama Kat’s~
    Whitney recently posted…Changing My ReflectionMy Profile

  11. Karen, I don’t experience this so much with blog posts, but definitely in many other areas of my life. It’s usually my ego pushing me to keep going. Sometimes, I have to point out a rocking chair (in my imagination), so my ego can go sit down & be busy in another way!
    Janet recently posted…Making Chemo Work for MeMy Profile

  12. I can so relate to this! Love this line: “Clearly my thoughts were not all there, this message not ready to completely come out.” I’ve felt this way about a few posts that took a long time to publish. It’s so true that if you’re not feeling it, it’s just not ready. Go to something else, start over, wait a day or two. Inspiration will always strike again.
    Christy recently posted…City House Bed and Breakfast: A Cozy Home Away from Home in Harrisburg, PAMy Profile

  13. I love that you pushed through and posted anyway!
    Vanessa recently posted…You’re Fired!My Profile

  14. Yes, I have been here. So much energy and emotion spent are trying to force a thing to work that is just not going to work. When I finally let go, it is always relief I end up feeling, never regret. So, why am I just as stubborn the next time?!
    May recently posted…BudsMy Profile

  15. Yes! So many times I’ve tried to make something work that just wasn’t coming together. Probably some of them I SHOULD have deleted!
    Kat recently posted…Writer’s Workshop: The Worst Self FiringMy Profile

  16. It sounds like the delete key is far more liberating for you than it is for me. I usually archive my stubborn work, knowing that I can come back to it later, if I want to (which I usually don’t). I’ve worked with so many writing students who just want to delete entire paragraphs. I always cry out, “Wait!” before they hit delete, and then I teach them to create their own swipe file of dysfunctional paragraphs and ideas. I’ve been doing this for years. Do I go back to these old clunkers? Almost never. But then I never have to summon the courage to press delete. My students, though, can go spelunking back through their awkward writing and mine fresh ideas for the endless stream of essays their classes require.
    Harmony Harrison recently posted…Tucker, My Five-Minute Old Cat: Celebrating the oddities of my old orange kitty (who smacks me in the face)My Profile

  17. It’s so frustrating when that happens. At least it is for me. Hopefully, I’m getting better at recognizing when it’s not working and I can just stop. Guidance. Have to always wait for the guidance.
    Linda Watson recently posted…Old Friends RediscoveredMy Profile

  18. As of this morning I have 42 draft blog posts that I’ve started and never finished. Most of them are random thoughts or ideas I quickly jotted down, but there are one or two I invested a far amount of time in and they just weren’t working or felt too personal. The plan was to go back some day and finish them, but I never do. Perhaps it is time to delete.
    Savvy Working Gal recently posted…The Savvy Reader Book Club Selection for Financial Literacy MonthMy Profile

    • 42 wowzas, you have quite a collection. Funny thing is no one ever seems to go back and publics these abandoned drafts. Maybe those thoughts, those moments have passed and deleting makes room for new thoughts. If you delete let me know how it feels, I was liberated not to have those misshaped sentences staring back at me anymore strangling my thought process.
      Karen Main recently posted…This Mum gig is tricky, confusing at times.My Profile

  19. I’m loving the fact that you write with pen and paper. I am a self-admitted paper junkie so I really like that purple pen and what cool scalloped edges on your journal. So funny about taking a shower and coming back to it. I do this all the time! Always better to do this than put something out there you don’t love.
    Barb recently posted…Art via PostMy Profile

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