As writers and creative types, we all have techniques to get in gear and move our work along. When I write and coach other writers, I approach the early stages of writing as an opportunity to generate great material. I describe the approach as, “Make a mess…then clean it up.”
The “make a mess” part is fun, liberating, and can generate a considerable volume of usable material. I encourage clients to “write for the trash,” i.e., with complete abandon. This process removes our inner judges and leaves us with piles of material to sift through.
Cleaning up our messy writing is a chance to find gems in the trash. By being thoughtful about reviewing our work and having a system to organize it as we clean, it’s possible to find all sorts of things we can use in a variety of current and future projects.
“I’ve never had so much fun and freedom drawing! I’m going to keep a trash can next to my easel from now on.” The effusive young woman seated across from me was a far cry from the frustrated ball of nerves I had encountered a week before.
The trash can wins every time.