A literary driveby

The other day, while writing a blog, my mind was hit by a stray bullet from a literary drive by.  I am, by nature, a perfectionist, and when writing a blog I like to stay focused on the subject.  In this case, however, right after the first paragraph I saw a phrase that caught my creative side off guard.  I ended up in a mental tug of war that had me writing and deleting for 30 minutes.

My perfectionist side told me to “stay on subject, don’t stray.” while my creative side said, “Let me take you down this road, you can always come back to the subject.”  This is the internal struggle that I go through on a daily basis.  The perfectionist usually wins, and I feel the creativity turn around in disgust.

If I would have let my creativity have its way, the worst that could have happened is that I had a second blog going, and my blog at that time would have been delayed by a few minutes.

Blogging is, at first, a free writing exercise, and then you edit later.  We should feel free to go off on a tangent.  Tangents take us in new directions and give us new insights that we can perhaps tap into later.  Instead of deleting what I was coming up with I should have continued to see where my creativity could take me.

After finishing the blog and posting it I realized that the simple act of forcing my mind to stay focused on one subject may have cost me another subject to explore, and a future blog that could help someone.

Challenge: If, while writing, you start to go off on a tangent, go with it and see where it takes you.  When you edit later, do not delete it, save it to a file for future use.  It could save you from future writer’s block.


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6 Responses to “A literary driveby”

  1. gigi1953 Says:

    Love it, Allen! Adventure! That’s what it’s all about. And you’re so right! No telling how many adventures in our writing journey we would miss if we did NOT allow our muse to wonder! Wonderful post!

  2. Tamara Hughes Says:

    Good advice. I have the same trouble. My internal editor is always nagging me.

  3. cruizen4u (Cindy) Says:

    Allen, you really said it all. I have been doing this very same thing. But you know what? I started jotting down my “creative” ideas on post-it notes to go back to. Then I started writing them down in a notebook, kind of like a journal. Geez, just when you think you are the only one this is happening to and feel like it’s turning into a problem, someone reaches out and says the same is happening to them. Thank you for letting me keep my sanity for one more day!

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