Tag Archives: writing tips

Launched New Yoga Blog & Why Shitty First Drafts Are Awesome!

12 Apr

Image credit: Giggle Chick Interactive

I just launched a brand-new yoga blog and I’m so excited about it!  It’s called “NotSoZen YogaJen,” and I will be blogging about being not a perfect, serene, transcendent being, but rather, an imperfect, anxious, Type A person who loves yoga and practices as much as possible – because if I didn’t, things (meaning me) might unravel!  I will also be writing about what I learn from yoga, and sharing tips and resources that have helped me, from a profound yogic teaching to just the right yoga mat bag, to where to find the best (and cheapest!) yoga classes.

In a related story, when I was about one-fourth into writing the introductory post for my new blog, I had a flashback.  Cut to:  October 2007.  I was writing a yoga blog for Health.com and I submitted my first post to the editor.  And she rejected it.  So then I wrote my second first post, and it was published.  As I was writing my post yesterday, I remembered that my real first Health.com post, introducing myself and stating my intention for my blog, was similar to what I was writing now, so I went back and dug it up.  While I didn’t use it in its entirety, I was able to incorporate bits and pieces and even a chunk here and there.

I am currently rereading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, in which she famously coined the phrase “Shitty First Drafts,” and wrote about how important it is to just spew the words out.  You will not initially know what is usable and what is not, and you may not even know where you will be able to use it.  However, your job at that stage of the process is not to judge or criticize, but just to get it all down.  And then you can go back, revise, use a little of this and a little of that – find a home for one paragraph in a short story you are writing, discover a character that would work in a poem, see the beginnings of your novel – and then, let go of the rest. 

It wasn’t exactly the same situation because my old blog post wasn’t a first draft and I’m not saying that it was necessarily shitty, but it had that same junkyard feel, of digging through this pile of words to see what I could salvage.  What I wrote before wasn’t what the editor wanted, and it could have just sat there, rusting and “rejected,” in the back my computer files for eternity.  I feel so gratified and eco-conscious that I was able to rescue it from exile, dust it off, polish it up, and repurpose it, and that all was not lost.  And I even identified some gems that I may be able to recycle in the future for some as-yet-to-be-formed potential piece.

So I want to encourage you to take a walk down to the Junkyard of Writing Past – whether that means scrolling through your computer files or strolling to your closet and unearthing those crumpled notebooks from that dark, dank corner in the back.  See if you can find a short story or beginnings of a novel or an idea for a blog  that you or someone else rejected and exiled, or maybe it just withered away from neglect.  Go on.  Bust it out.  Check it out.  Dust if off and polish it up.  Be nice to it, and be nice to yourself.  And see if you might be able to find a new home for some of those ragtag bits and pieces; take them out of the dark and place them somewhere they can sparkle and shine.

And then check out my new yoga blog! 🙂

Happy writing!