Writing for the bin

My mate Doug runs fab workshops, exploring different themes using art. He uses a warm-up exercise, as most people are fearful of art, that he titles ‘drawing for the bin’.

Essentially, if you remove the pressure so that you are just drawing with no intention of sharing or keeping, just screwing up the paper and throwing it in the bin, you relax and after several sheets of paper, you’ve warmed up and are then able to do something better.

The same applies to many things, including writing.

This is my 5th draft blog in the last 45 minutes, I was stuck with something to write, I started to feel the pressure, so I just wrote, and then opened another blank screen and wrote again and again.

5 times over until I wrote this. Writing without the pressure of sharing it, makes it easy. Doing it several times in a row warms you up.

Pressure inhibits and is removed when you stop thinking and just start without an expected outcome.

That one voice


We create something, we refine it, we polish and then we share it with the world. We have that feeling of accomplishment and pleasure in having finished it and shipped it.

We have overcome our doubting voices and then we hit the ‘publish’ ‘send’ ‘tweet’ and we wait. Or we do a talk and the audience clap and then we wait for the feedback.

We get a like, a favourite, a re-tweet and we’re happy. We get a lovely DM to say ‘really loved your talk’ or ‘a great post’ in the comments.

Often though, what we are really waiting for is the negative feedback, there must have been someone who didn’t like it.

Then it comes, either a comment after our talk or a negative feedback, a critic.

Then we go off into a spiral of doubt and we say I knew ‘I shouldn’t have said that’ or ‘included that section’, and so the list goes on.

There may have been 25 likes and one ‘dislike’, but it is the one dislike that we focus on in our heads.

Two things I have learnt.

1. not everyone is going to like our stuff, and that’s great as we are not here to create bland stuff for the masses.

2. the one voice does not matter, as the critics are sitting on the sidelines, while you are in the ring taking the ‘punches’ and being brave enough to do it.