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Monday, October 14, 2013

Don't Throw Away Anything You've Written

There are several reasons why writers should never throw away anything that they've written, no matter how bad they think it might be. If for no other reason, those poorly written paragraphs will show authors how far they've come. Sometimes as I've read what I've written years ago I find an idea, a phrase, or an entire page that I can use again. This is especially helpful when writing autobiographically. A poem I wrote in the seventh grade had many flaws, but the sentence above it from my English teacher encouraged me to continue writing. "Do save your poems," she wrote. I began to think maybe one day I could be a writer. A diary I kept for a short time is an invaluable source. A romance novel I wrote was rejected by several agents because I didn't have any steamy sex scenes. I put it aside until I heard about a romance novel contest. Rereading my book, I found I liked it. I entered a contest and won first prize. I'm still selling copies of it. Now that I've convinced you never to throw anything away, I have to modify that statement. If you have written something that is libleous, mean or cruel, by all means destroy it. Words have enormous power. Use them well.

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