Writer’s remorse is a horrible, sickening feeling. It’s usually accompanied by the thought (or words), “I probably shouldn’t have told you that!”.
There are days, weeks even, when stuff happens and my first impulse is to start writing about it and sharing it with BIG BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS because, as we all know, that Makes It All Alright. Actually, it rarely does, but it seems like the Right Thing To Do at the time.
I’ve written about why writing is so important to me (quite a lot) and when I have one of Those Days, writing is one of the few outlets that work for me. I’m not the only person who resorts to words in challenging times. Take this advice by Chuck Palahniuk, for example:
Write about the issues that really upset you. Those are the only things worth writing about.— Jon Winokur (@AdviceToWriters) July 13, 2016
CHUCK PALAHNIUK pic.twitter.com/uQgYPEjf8g
The challenge in times such as these is how to express yourself constructively. By “constructively”, I mean not in a way that wrecks your career, relationships or results in the sort of outcome you know you will regret later.
Flying off the proverbial handle and publishing your most visceral thoughts on the public Web may seem like the right response to a difficult situation, at the time. Unfortunately, it is also often conducive to that profound regret and shame you may feel the morning after a questionable encounter in a dimly lit bar.
In times like these it is usually wise to follow suggestions that you not click the “Publish” button right away. Even if publishing immediately seems utterly necessary and delaying means not having the desired impact.
Just don’t publish yet. Give the fog time to dissipate, give yourself time to process it all. Then edit and publish (if it is still relevant).
There are times when that expression of rage or profound disappointment needs to be expressed. Other times, it’s ok to relegate your verbal fury to your growing folder of post drafts to gather digital dust.
The Psychological Benefits of Writing Regularly https://t.co/rV8cng4RGm— Beverley Merriman (@bevmerriman) July 17, 2016
Some days, just the process of taking those thoughts and feelings and expressing them are enough. Publication isn’t always the answer, as easy as it is to do it.
Today is one of Those Days for me and the one piece of advice that bubbles up from the recesses of my foggy mind is this: Don’t be bitter, be better.
I’m going to publish this one, though.
Image credit: Pixabay