The satisfaction felt after destroying something that you’ve created

I’ve thrown out ten-thousand words of work on my essay for the Invictus project. The story was convoluted and had lost most of its meaning. I was trying to cram too much into it and the writing was beginning to be disorienting. I was pitting myself up against too many conflicts.

I was frustrated with myself for spending so much time and investing so much in the draft that I threw out. My writing was stubborn. I was forcing the words and trying to tie things together without any real focus. Important scenes were blurry, and the context was clouded with insignificant details. In the morning I took one last look at the document and then trashed the entire thing.

Once the draft was deleted I felt a surge of relief. I was now free to start again, but with the knowledge of my mistakes. Sentences came to me faster. I reorganized the scenes of my story into a more logical pattern. In twelve hours I was halfway through the newest version of my Invictus essay.

This is my writing process, something like slash and burn. By destroying my original project I made room for the new story, and it sprang out of me with more clarity and sincerity. It’s important to know when you’ve failed, and even more important to receive that failure as a step towards success. I had failed again and I have picked myself up to start over.