Lost! Finished! Kaput! Gone!
I recently wrote a post discussing what happens when you lose your draft and are faced with a blank screen. This is what happens when your work is Lost! Kaput! Finished! Gone!
Lost! Kaput! Finished! Gone!
Each night this week I sat before a blank screen and made my best attempts to write. Something happened doesn’t happen very often – at least for me. I found myself at a loss of written words and this was not something I liked. I’m good with words. I’m a natural storyteller. At least, that is what I tell others and many tell me in return. So, if that is true, why was my creative spark gone? Lost! Kaput! Finished! GONE!
I tried repeatedly. A paragraph would form and, while coherent and with clear meaning, it was missing one important ingredient – me. I just didn’t feel it so I began again. Then, I found a bit of inspiration night I completed a post titled “The Doctor and I” in Google Docs. Tonight, as I prepared to polish the post with last minute edits, I discovered that it – just like my creative spark before it – was gone! Lost! Kaput! Finished! GONE!
Before we continue I feel obliged to mention WHY I lost the post as the fault was not Google’s. I did not heed Apple’s warning and downloaded the public beta of Yosemite on BOTH my Macbook and iMac. Beta software has bugs..that’s why it’s beta. So, when I worked to make a graphic for The Doctor and I, my Macbook froze. I didn’t try again because I waited until tonight to attempt to read the post. What did I find this time? Same as before! Gone…lost…kaput…finished…gone!
I had a choice. I could either stress and attempt to recreate it OR I could take my frustration and channel it into something positive. I chose the second option and started writing.
So, what can we learn from the blank page and the lost draft?
The Blank Page
The first issue was the blank page. When staring at a blank page, what could it tell me?
Perhaps the truth is written all across the page forcing me to ask myself why it is blank! Could it be that the page was blank because external forces such as work, life , finances, health, or a variety of other things interfere? Could they cause the creative block? This may seem obvious but I find the obvious is often invisible when your creativity is blocked.
I know why I had a block and acknowledging it helped to bring some visibility and bring the obvious into focus.
Lost! Kaput! Finished! GONE!
The second issue was the lost “The Doctor and I” post. Faced with frustration, this is what I learned:
- Just because you can do someting doesn’t me you SHOULD do it! (Beta software on both machines!)
- Sometimes inspiration comes when you stop trying to force yourself to be creative.
- You can channel frustration into positive energy or focus on it and allow frustration to build.
- Write about what’s real. Don’t overthink it…just write. Sometimes the best lessons come from the oddest of moments.
- If you should lose a post and it’s outline, maybe it might be best to walk away from it and allow it to resurface when the time is right. Maybe that post will be even better the second time around.
There will come a time when you sit in front of a blank screen/page and find that the words don’t flow. While I do not wish it to be true, there will come a time when you discover that the work you’ve been working on for hours, days, weeks, etc. has been lost. When this happens, take a break. Change your scenery. Do whatever it is that works for you to allow yourself the opportunity to channel all that frustration into something positive. When you do that, I bet you create something fantastic!
I will recreate The Doctor and I and will share it with you. In the meantime, for me…for now… I am finished…kaput..gone!
Thanks for reading! See you next time!