Inspiration and Garbage

My relationship with writing is a funny thing; I've never been a 'writer', per-se, but I do love writing things from time to time. I probably write about as much prose as the average active blogger, but a lot of my writing never sees the light of day, nor is it focused in one particular area.

I blog about Drupal development and technology over on my Midwestern Mac blog, about the Church and technology on my Open Source Catholic blog, about life in general here, and about a variety of other things on various other blogs and fora.

But I think it's really important for someone who is serious about writing—and writing well—to do two things:

  1. Stay inspired
  2. Throw out the garbage

These two actions support and help each other; discarding mediocre writing projects and posts will allow you to take a fresh look at what you're writing, while staying inspired can help you more easily discern what's garbage, and what can be engaging and/or informative.

Just yesterday, I spent over an hour writing a post I thought would turn out funny, a bit tongue-in-cheek, and mildly informative... but it just didn't happen. Instead of wasting more of my time trying to make a mediocre post a little less mediocre, I threw it out, and started this post instead.

It's hard to stay inspired, but simply clearing away distractions helps (very rarely do distractions aid in inspiration). My favorite writing is often done after I've taken a break from coding or playing a game (or something else that involves a bit of concentration), and simply read a book, watched a video, prayed a short prayer, or did nothing at all.