It took me a while to come to terms with this, although I’ve heard it said a few dozen times before: there is no such thing as wasted writing.
Sure, I understood that those short stories I wrote way back when and those unpublished manuscripts were worth at least the time I put into them, but it never occurred to me that this really applies to any writing.
That essay you did for English class? You wrote it, didn’t you?
That poem scribbled away in your diary for no one to see? Yeah, that counts too.
That Scrabble game you played last night? Uh…not quite.
But Scrabble games aside, the message is still the same: you’re never wasting your time while you write. So maybe that story you wrote was complete crap. So what? Does David Beckham waste his time practicing if he plays badly in a scrimmage? Will the Trix Rabbit ever get to try a bowl of cereal? Will I EVER stop being distracted by shiny objects?
Sorry, sorry, carried away again. The answers are all no by the way. Especially that last one.
Point is: as long as you’re writing you haven’t wasted anything. It’s that many more pages you’ve taken the time to sit down and work on your craft.
So on those days that you stare at your WIP and you can’t bring yourself to write a decent word, don’t beat yourself over the head. Try to write, put down some nonsense, and if you really can’t think of anything at all, open up a new document and write something random. Make it ridiculous. It doesn’t have to make sense, and it’ll probably be a lot more fun to read if it doesn’t, anyway.
That wasn’t a waste of time. After all, you wrote something, didn’t you?
Fun question! What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever written?