trash can green outdoors

I had a blog post almost complete and ready to send yesterday. But as I was coming to my conclusion, I realized that I had written myself into a corner. I had made a mistake. My entire thesis turned out to be untrue.

Often, I do not know exactly what my conclusion will be until I write it. Often, I know that something is important, and I have an idea that seems like it will lead somewhere, but I need to write it out to get to the point. Alternatively, if I have an idea but don’t understand it fully, I can talk it out with someone.

But sometimes, upon nearing the end of the piece of writing or the conversation, I have the realization that I had been looking at the thing wrong in the first place, thus negating the need to write or talk further about it. This is great wisdom. It is a negative wisdom, though. It’s the wisdom of knowing that I don’t need to think about this problem anymore, because it’s not a problem.

I made an interpretive mistake. And it’s okay to make mistakes.

I don’t want to publicly share what I was working on and what mistake I made. But I will share this with Patrons who receive Tuesday/Thursday emails. Click here to become a Patron, and choose the “Really Big Fan” tier or higher to gain access to this info. I’ll post it shortly. Thanks for your support! You are absolutely helping me keep this blog going.

Here’s another good lesson. It’s extremely common for writers and other creatives (Do you like that word, “creatives”? I’m on the fence about it. Do you think it sounds pretentious? It’s a useful word, though, less cumbersome than “creative people” and less likely to be too narrowly interpreted than “artists”) to do a lot of work, only to trash the whole thing and start anew. It’s nothing to worry about. It’s a normal part of the creative process. Sometimes a path that seems interesting doesn’t pan out as you had hoped. Also, it’s helpful to know what doesn’t work, because that gives you information as you seek out something that does work.

And now that I think of it, this isn’t just limited to creatives. I’m sure scientists and businesspeople and auto mechanics and parents and all sorts of people experience this. Sometimes you try something, and it doesn’t work out. So you try something else.

Have you ever trashed something you put a lot of time and energy into?