Robert Birming

Your trash might be someone else’s treasure

I had dinner with a close friend yesterday.

Afterward, I sent a photo I took of her. She wrote back that she thought it looked awful. I replied that I thought it was beautiful, which I honestly did. I wrote that maybe it's like hearing your voice; it always feels a little strange and "ugly."

The thought lingered while I sat on the subway home…

Perhaps it's the same phenomenon that happens when we're dissatisfied with our writing. The observer and the observed are too close to each other to make a fair judgment. It's like looking at a painting up close and thinking it looks terrible. It's like a trial where the judge and the defendant are the same person.

We are in a constant state of bias when it comes to judging our work.

Anyone who's been blogging for a while has experienced this: You post something you almost threw away because you thought it was garbage, and it turns out to be one of your most popular posts.


Next time you find yourself with your index finger resting on the delete button, move it to publish. Your trash might be someone else’s treasure.