I’ve mentioned before that I have several works in progress… probably not alone there, right? I’m not sure what makes me flit from one project to the next like a human hummingbird dipping my beak-quill into the ink of an entire garden. Perhaps it’s because I get bored with one project, or maybe I get stuck, preferring an idea that’s shiny and new over hashing out the problems in the current draft. (Okay, yeah, that’s probably why.)
But rather than think of this method as lazy (which, realistically, I suppose it is), I like to think of it as creative versatility. Yes, creative versatility. Rolls off the tongue and certainly tastes sweeter than lazy.
Lately, however, I’ve been forcing myself to attack the largest of the existing projects. This is an idea and working draft that I have wrestled with for ten years and no matter what else I’m working on, this project looms in the back of my mind. A demon, it seems, with snarling edges and a peculiar pout at having been left to dance among the dust bunnies for so long.
I will say that the project has sheathed its claws, happier now that I’m giving it my attention. It rewards me by unfurling its brittle pages into a story that yearns to be told.
I’m trying very hard not to worry overmuch about editing at this point. It’s tough for me to let the story burst forth, unleashed. I find myself floundering for the right word to describe the things I’m writing about. After doodling in the margins of the page for a while, I finally use the words that come first. The point is to get the story out, I know, so I force myself to accept the words that flow easily. The story, because of this acceptance, flows easily, too.
So, I suppose I’ve taught myself something by allowing the words to come at will. If I can quiet my inner critic just long enough to get the words out, maybe, just maybe, this project will actually become a final draft. And when that happens, I know I’ll feel like I’ve taken the long road home. That is, after all, the most scenic route.
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(Pic via Pinterest)
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