S***y first drafts.

Happy friday everybody!

This has been a fun week in terms of one of my new year's goals, the idea that I would like to write more. I spent a decent amount of time working on a new project that I'm not quite ready to make public yet (though it's gonna be awesome when I do!), and have some ideas swimming in my head for a sermon for next week. I like when my job affords me the ability to do the things I love!


I have one project I'm working on that's giving me all kinds of trouble. Ed and I have decided to write a devotional guide for Lent, and it's going to be amazing! It will tie in to all the sermons at the Bridge for the season of Lent, so if you read along with us it will bring a really great unity to the church's learning. All of this sounds lovely, but my week has looked exactly like Sam in the beginning of this post. I write a little bit, become disgusted with myself, and throw it away.

Anne Lamot says that any serious writer has to be (excuse the language) ok with "shitty first drafts" that they will allow absolutely no one to see. Some people actually light them on fire! I write mostly on my laptop, so that's out, but the symbolic act of tossing a document into the trash bin has a similarly exhilarating effect.

I've actually never had trouble with this. Tree Anthem is about to enter the studio to record our first full length CD. At the moment it has 17 songs on it, but when we sat down to first start thinking about it we had 40 to choose from. That means 23 songs of mine weren't worthy of seeing the light of day (or at least not yet), and to be honest I'm more than ok with it. Those 23 songs probably led in some way to the creation of the 17 good ones, so though they didn't serve their original purpose, they did lead to good.

I wonder if in life we're ok with shitty first drafts. When we come to something challenging, something that's going to require a lot of our energy and effort, and we screw it up the first time around, do we realize that's ok? Or do we get frustrated, bummed out, burned out, and quit? Do we allow the 23 bad attempts at something get in the way of the 17 good ones, or do we allow them to pad the landing of the 17 good ones?

So, as I sit down to take crack number 55 at this devotional guide, my encouragement to us this morning is to be ok with shitty first drafts, both as authors and as people with stories. You never know what a mistake might lead us to!




Kathy at Wellness Roadtrip said...

I commented of FB before I even read the blog post. That Anne Lamont quote got me through a lot of writing projects and now I've graciously shared it with Paige! Keep at it.

SarahFett said...

Wonderful use of the West Wing!

Perseverance and pie will get you through...