It happens more often than I would like it to. I read something I just wrote and, after a short internal deliberation, I realize it is pure garbage, waste, so craptastically bad I have to erase it before it finds its way into the world.
Sometimes it’s just a sentence. Others, it’s a paragraph. Once in a while it is everything I have been working on for the last week, month, year, or my entire life. Catastrophic, yes. But no less the reality of where my mind wanders when I am trying to put my thoughts on paper, attempting to create art from the blood of my experience and, on second glance, realize it’s just vomit from the crud I have been chewing on for far too long.
The point is, it happens, and it’s going to happen again, and every time Bob Dylan comes on my playlist when I am attempting to write something eloquent I realize I don’t have a chance. I’ll never compare.
But I do it anyway. The realization, in actuality, can be quite freeing. If it’s crap, then what do I have to worry about. I can just keep going knowing there is no standard that I need to achieve, save the expression itself.
And, once I begin expressing before, I am reminded that people hate Dylan. Lots of them do. In fact, I bet if you asked him, he would say that some of his stuff is crap too..at least the early stuff.
But he kept writing anyway. And so will I.
Because, as I think about it. The only times my writing stops is when I am paralyzed by the idea that I need to be perfect, that the writing it not worth it if it doesn’t meet some imaginary mark, that because I am not there yet must surely mean I’ll never get there.
And that’s all crap. Just like my writing. So I’ll keep going…as soon as I review that last sentence.