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Got Gunk on Your Creations? It’s OK to Throw Them Out

Garbage

Garbage (Photo credit: Editor B)

The first pair of socks I’d ever crocheted had attracted some disgusting gunk on them in the laundry. They belonged to my younger son, so I thought the gunk was something really gross. In the end, I threw the socks out, but I was not happy about it. They were, after all, the first pair of socks I’d crocheted¬†and I’d crocheted them for my son.

To be honest, though, my son wore them once and that was it: he didn’t actually like them. He wasn’t going to wear holes in them or take them school as though they were some wearable version of the Velveteen Rabbit. I can’t blame him, either. How would you feel about polyester baby-blue-and-white socks with a silver thread spun through?

Some creators, e.g., writers, are encouraged to hold on to everything. The assumption is that you may have a gem in your draft drawer. But look at choreographers: do you think they video all of their brainstorming and rehearsals in case they need an idea later? No – they simply work at their choreography until it’s done and then show the final product to their audiences.

Chucking something we create into the garbage can be tough, but it’s necessary: If we hold on to everything, we’ll be bogged down by the projects that didn’t work instead of lifted up by the ones that did.

I’m almost done a pair of socks for my other son. Then it’s on to replacing the ones in the local dump. This time, though, I’ll get my son’s opinion on the yarn and see if I can make them more to his liking. If it works, then it was worth throwing out the first pair.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. I think you discovered another lesson here, too. Consulting your son about the type of yarn, etc. is the same as thinking carefully about your reader before you launch into the writing–gives it purpose and direction and gives your work a better chance of being well-received.

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  2. So true, Heather. However, I do find writing easier when I write the first draft just for me. Once I’m on to editing, I edit for the reader. Otherwise I find myself questioning almost everything I write!

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