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.