It’s easy to get attached to a story or a painting when you like one tiny part of it, even if the rest of it is horrible. Sometimes it’s best to keep the good parts and jettison the awful bits.
For writing, consider keeping a file with good lines
and scenes that are available to use in a future story. If you want to
keep the original, you can, but pull out the good lines so that you can
find them if you have an idea how to make it work, or how to use them in
a different story.
For art, if it’s so awful that you want to rip it up
(we’ve all been there), consider cutting out the part you like before
you rip up the rest of it. You never know when you might be able to use
that image again, or if it will spark an idea for a new painting or a
Here are two of my latest saves (from when I went through old art files and tossed the scary pictures):
I really love this seagull because he’s the best seagull I’ve ever
painted and because he reminds me of the beach. Some day I might find a
story or painting to put him in, or I’ll just continue to enjoy this
little bit that I saved from an awful painting.
I liked this house too much to get rid of it. You can probably tell
from the colors that the painting turned out really dark, or at least
the rest of it did. This little detail was light enough to save. Maybe
someone that lives at this house will go to the beach to visit the
seagull some day.
Remember to save your favorite bits when you kill your awful stories
and pictures. Even if they never make it into another story or picture,
at least they can still make you smile