Deleting Drafts


I sat down to write a blog post that has been sitting in my "drafts" for a while. But it felt forced and faked. So I slammed the computer closed and walked away frustrated.  It has been weeks since I blogged about something. I sat in the living room with my roommate while she watched some talk show. I couldn't focus. I felt lost and confused. Why is writing so hard?

Here's the thing, writing doesn't have to be hard. But you have to want to do it. Remember term papers and assigned writing prompts in school? Remember how daunting they could be? Writing isn't fun when it is forced.

I sat down this morning and emptied my draft box. I figured that if the words were meant to fall together, they would. So I cleaned it out and I am starting fresh. It is hard to rework an idea that was in your head months ago. Your perspective has changed. You have grown since then and most likely that topic is what's bouncing around in your brain right now. So I'm learning to let go of the things that I cannot change.

Emptying my draft box was scary and freeing. Every time I would log on and see "# of drafts" my heart would sink a little. I felt like I was neglecting to let my thoughts be real. I was neglecting to share myself. But I've come to realize that it wasn't all that. Those messages got thrown into the draft pile because they weren't ready to be written. They were the beginnings of stories that I haven't yet finished. And while it may have been easier to keep them there as a reminder of how I felt in the beginning of each of those stories, I think I like it better this way. I can rewrite the beginning to my stories a million times and each time it is going to sound a little bit different. But that doesn't mean that I've forgotten something or changed something in the story--it just means that I've learned to see it in a different way.

I feel lighter without those reminders of what I once started. 

Many of those drafts would have never become full blog posts anyway. They just weren't the types of things that need to be blogged about. And others, well, one day I may revisit those topics. But as in life, sometimes we need to move past what we once thought was important in order to see what truly matters.

Now as I sit here rambling about my draft box, I know that someone is reading into all of it. Someone  wants to know what kind of metaphor this all is. But really it's not all that complicated.

Life is about trial and error and learning what works for you. I am not perfect and I don't have all the answers--don't tell my firsties the latter, they already know that I'm not perfect. But something that I have found works with 98% of the people I've talked to, letting go.

At some point in your life you are going to have to realize that you can't keep it all. Life is meant to be shared and it is meant to be fluid. Life cannot happen if you are always sitting still; it cannot happen if you are stuck in the past.


Books and fairy tales and stories of others always make you think that this life can be tied up into a pretty package. I'm here to tell you that it just isn't true. Sometimes you start down a path and realize that it isn't going to work. So you turn around and leave that road alone. If you look down at a fairy tale on a map it would be a nice straight line--it may have some road blocks, but they are easy to get around.

Real life isn't a straight line. It's got turns and twists. It's got dead ends and locked doors. It's got vast open roads that sometimes we choose not to take. And that's okay. But you have to let go of that. Each day that you live in regret of the past, is a day that you are missing in the present.

Now I'm not saying that it is going to be easy. Because most of the time, it's not. It's hard because life is messy. That's just the way it is.

So if you are looking for someone to give you permission to let go, here it is. Let go of all the things you can't change. Let go of what might have been. Let go of the past. You can choose to let go without having to forget. But you have to move on. You have to be present now and you have to look to the future. Because living in the past is like living in the draft box--it isn't getting you anywhere.


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