I spent this week writing unpublishable pieces.
For four consecutive evenings, I spent time away from my family to write. I sat at my computer, doing the keyboard dance, working meticulously on three distinct projects. And at the end of the week, I’ve come to realize that none of the three will ever see publication.
One piece was a tribute for an acquaintance who recently passed away. Her daughter wrote a much more lovely and personal tribute. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) compete with her words.
Another was commentary on a recent national tragedy. But I struggled to come up with a conclusion.
The third was corny commentary on soup. Yes, soup. (A delightful bowl of chowder surely tricked me into thinking a soup column would be readable.)
As the saying goes, “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. Not every picture will make the fridge door. Not every song needs to be sung. But no matter how many times I send a desktop document to the recycling bin, it never gets easier.
An English teacher once told me that writing a sentence will only make us a better sentence writer the next time. He was correct (as evidence in my well-intended but cringe-worthy high school papers). I’m not the perfect writer. But every time I sit down to write, I get better.
On this Friday afternoon, with nothing to publish, nothing to share, nothing to submit to editors, I can’t help but feel discouraged. But I know when to fold ’em. So for now, I’ll play baseball with my son,
Next week I’ll be that much better of a writer.
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