No writing is wasted. There is purpose for every word you write. Whether you publish your work, whether your work is just for you. Whether it’s journaling, blogging, or poetry. There is a purpose behind all of it. Creativity. Expression. Practice. Growth. Passion.
Authors who publish their work often must “kill their darlings,” or cut portions of their writing during the editing process. Writers have to get rid of their most precious and self-indulgent passages for the greater good of the literary work. But the writing that is cut from your work is not wasted. First of all, you can always create a document of cut passages to be saved and recycled at a later date. You had to cut the passage from your current work, but maybe you can use it again in another piece.
But, even if you just delete the writing. It still had a purpose.
Practice and Growth
Every word you write is practice. Every word you write is growth. Writing, just like anything else you do, gets better over time. You learn what works and what doesn’t. You develop your voice. You improve your style and your vocabulary. Your techniques, character development, world building, descriptions, and dialogue all improve with time and practice. There is no such thing as too much experience when it comes to writing.
Creativity and Expression
Writing is a creative outlet, whether you do it for yourself or an audience. It is important to have a creative outlet in life. A way to express yourself. The benefits of expressing yourself through a creative outlet like writing are:
- It provides a break from anxiety and stress. A creative outlet like writing can help you escape the stresses of your day-to-day life. It can distract you from whatever you are currently stressing about, like the fight you had with your mother or about your annoying co-worker. Instead all your focus is on your work-in-progress.
- It provides a healthy outlet. Through writing, you can often express thoughts and feelings that you are unable to verbally express. In your writing you can talk about experiences, thoughts, feelings, emotions, hopes, and dreams that you are unable to express in other ways or to other people. It can help you to understand the things that you are feeling or the things that you experienced. It can help you to accept them and come to terms with them. This is especially true for people who have experienced a trauma, a tragedy, a loss, or other unusually stressful events.
- Writing is usually a singular activity, but it can also provide you with a way to meet new people. Get out from behind your computer. Go out into the world and make new friends. There are many opportunities to join classes and workshops where you can improve your writing and meet new people. You can also join writing groups both online and in your local area. It is a wonderful experience to be surrounded by people who are passionate about the same thing as you. Writers love to talk with fellow writers about the writing process, about their current project, and they love to bounce new ideas off of each other and help one another flesh out a new plot.
- Writing is a creative outlet that allows you time to yourself. As I said above, writing is usually something that you do alone. If you’re like me, you crave alone time. A time of peace and quiet where you are alone with your thoughts. Writing can give you that. A time when you sit alone in your office or preferred writing space. Just you and your computer, or typewriter, or notepad. It can be a very peaceful experience, unless your Muse or characters are giving you a hard time, or you have writer’s block. But, writer’s block is a topic for another blogpost another time.
- Provides a Healthier Body and Mind. Doing something creative that you enjoy can lower your blood pressure, lower the stress hormone: Cortisol, and lower your body mass index. It can also reduce your negative thoughts and improve depression, which is why so many psychologists and therapists recommend their patients take up a creative hobby.
Writing is something that you are either passionate about or you are not. No matter what kind of writing you do: blogging, journaling, poetry, fiction… Whatever your poison, writing is an act of passion. And passion is never wasted. If you love what you are doing it is reflected in your words. If you are journaling you are writing your memories, your ideas, your emotions. And those are words that you will cherish forever. If you are blogging, your words are filled with the passion of helping and informing others. If you write poetry… well is there any form of communication that is as passionate as poetry? And fiction writers are passionate about storytelling. They are passionate about their characters and the journey that they send their characters on. They love to write for the purpose of entertaining or the purpose of maybe changing the world with their stories.
No writing can ever be wasted when it is written with passion. No writing can ever be wasted when it is a creative outlet that allows you to express yourself. No writing is ever wasted when it can help improve your health – both mind and body. No writing is ever wasted when you can use all the experience and practice to grow as a writer.
Write on, writers!
Michelle C. Hillstrom – Author