Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Curious Idea Of Destroying Your Own Work

In her inspiring book Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life, author Natalie Goldberg talks about Zen poets who take their best haikus, put them in bottles, and set the bottles free in a river.

They let their work go. Literally.

Talk about turning the process of writing on its head. Think about it: if you knew you were going to destroy your next essay the moment you finished it, you couldn't possibly have any attachment to the final product. You'd have no choice but to enjoy the process of writing that article, because that process is all you'd have.

You don't have to reverently set your work free in a nearby stream--there's no need to be so literal. Instead, use this concept to help you enjoy the act of writing rather than fixate on what you create.

In other words, focus on process rather then product. Treat your creative process with sincerity and reverence and your writing will bring you far more joy and satisfaction.