Draft, delete, repeat

I feel like I should be writing. I have enough thoughts and ideas I want to write about or discuss, but nothing I come up with seems right.

For instance, I’ve been feeling quite happy lately – this deep-seated contentment that permeates my being most of the time. I’m not always aware of it, especially when I feel down for some reason. So, it feels precious when I do realise that it is just there and that things are good.

But how do you write about happiness without sounding contrived or preachy? I can only speak from my perspective, which may be helpful to some and appear idiotic to others. Does it even matter? This blog is called ‘The Story of my life’. I can only share my perspective.

Apart from sounding contrived, I could very well be in over my head as well. After all, so much has already been said and written about the subject, what could I possibly add?

Which takes us back to this being my story and nobody else’s. We may be nearing 8 billion people on this planet in the next year and a half, but no two people will ever live the exact same life. Each story is unique.

Still, I can’t quite decide on how to pursue one subject over another and end up deleting what I’ve written and start on something else.

I’ve done this several times already and here we are. The latest draft discarded and on a new subject that somehow combines everything I’ve attempted to write about before. Will this be the piece that gets published?

Sometimes I feel like writing and nothing much will come of it. I will end up jotting down thoughts, discarding them and end up frustrated at having achieved nothing. Eventually, I simply shut down the laptop and turn to something else. Maybe next time.

Perhaps I shouldn’t just delete my ideas, though. Keeping a draft won’t hurt. It gives me the option to come back to it later when I may have something more coherent to say or discover what my point is.

And I know I shouldn’t let this frustrate me. Every word I write is an achievement, even when it ends up being deleted again. Sitting here and trying to get something done is better than avoiding it altogether. I find that frustrates me more than trying to write about three different topics and being overly critical with what I’ve written.

Right now, I just have to get over myself. I probably won’t be writing anything of any significance. But I have tried, and I have written about something that occupies my mind. If nothing else, it is good exercise.

This is true for everything we try to do. Whether that’s playing an instrument, learning a language, or any other challenge we face. As long as we keep working at it a little at a time, we can get where we want to be.

So, what if I go through several drafts that I end up deleting? I keep going and won’t let my frustrations stop me.

Doing our best on any given day may not always approach anything we would even consider ‘good’, but it may just be enough.

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