You wanna know what’s inevitable?
Ya, that six letter C word, what an annoyance it can be – especially when I’m right in the middle – well almost – of my novel. There I am, writing along, all happy-go-lucky, and what hits me? A new thought.
What if, instead of this, I added this to it?
Now, that’s one discouraging thought!
But it doesn’t have to be, because it’s simply a rough draft. Let me repeat that. It’s a rough draft. One more time. IT’S A ROUGH DRAFT! Enough, yes, no, probably not. It’s taken me years to get over the concept of what a rough draft really is. I am a creative person, and I have yet to develop really good organizational skills for most things, but there is one thing I am. A perfectionist. I mean, if it doesn’t come out right on the first try, I can get pretty down and discouraged. . . I’ve abandoned multiple worked on novel ideas because of that exact reason.
Almost every time I write, I feel that if the words don’t flow out of me like print on newspaper, I’m doomed to fail at what I love most. I’ve had solid belief systems that told me, if I had to sit through more than one revise, I wasn’t good enough to be a writer.
You’d think I would have run away from writing because of that. But no, I can’t, it’s not that I’m in too deep and I can’t get out. . . I mean, I’ve dug myself in pretty deep, but I don’t want out. I want to stay here, I love writing more than a lot of things, it’s a creative outlet, a way to control what I can’t control in reality. It’s my organized spacey moments made sense, it’s love at first sight even though I don’t believe in that. It’s everything to me, and if it ever gotten taken away from me, I know my soul would drown in sorrow.
I’m a writer, I am working to be a published author, and if I think the perfectionist qualities are going to stop me, well oh-ho-ho, watch out, because I’m going to write right through that. I’ve given up on so many things, why, because they weren’t the essence of who I was. Writing is my life’s inspiration, a gift from God, something that has gotten be through good times and bad.
So here’s my point, giving up when things get crazy, is about as useful as giving up on sawing wood when your saw gets dull. I’ve learned to stop going out to buy a new one and learned to sharpen the one I already have. Use it’s dullness to an advantage – learn to sharpen it a new way. Maybe a few pieces broke off, sharpen those, make them part of the tool. I don’t care, but use it! Buying a new one is going to only get you so far until that one’s useless too. Then, you run out of money and you’ve got twenty dull saws in your workshop and half sawed through piece of wood. What usually follows, is the wood being thrown out, because, what’s the point of keeping something when it’s never going to get finished.
I’ve been through this process one too many times.
I’m glad for the windy loop I was thrown today by my story. I found some things I didn’t know I wanted, but I’m scared my story will get too confusing like the last ones and I’ll abandon it. But I have to remember, that as long as I keep true to what I want in a story, and I keep my saw sharpened, then heck yes! I will get through this!
Change though, as I said before, can be the most discouraging thing on the planet – okay, I added that last part. But it can be, and it leaves so many creative people in a dark pit, wallowing in self pity, because they don’t know what to do. It’s depressing, stomach churning, and it’s far from fun.
That pit leaves you there thinking so many things, things that are wrong to think:
No one will want to read my writing.
I’m not good enough to publish.
No one will take me on as a writer.
Who wants to read my crap writing anyways?
I shouldn’t even be trying this.
Like I’m even that good.
So, to get over that discouragement, I created something I like to call, my ‘Good Enough Box’.
Pay no mind to the crappy drawings. . . I used a plain shoe box, and left it pretty boring until I cut out drawings I did during classes and taped them on. Not the most professional, but it’s still fun!
I write a little blurb on a plain piece of lined paper. The first one is labeled “THOUGHT” with my down sided thoughts saying:
Writing is hard.
The second is labeled “FACT”, with an explanation:
Duh, if it weren’t, everybody would do it. Writing is a talent given and a talent learned. Take the opportunity and seize it!
I usually write in a sarcastic tone to make the situation lighter and less of a stressful push on.
And last but not least, I introduce the folded up piece of paper to its new home. I taped the box shut with boxing tape to make sure it wouldn’t open at all, and as a reminder that it’s not to be opened until I’m finished with my novel. I created this, so that when I finish and go through them, I can see all the hard bumps I got through. All the thoughts I had about failing and giving up, and how I did the exact opposite through determination.
To say the least, change is hard, but it’s inevitable. Each time I had something change, I got discouraged, and a thought came to me, to which I countered with a fact. Stuffing it away is like stuffing away my worries, and when I finally open it, they’ll all flutter out of their cage, but won’t be able to affect me any more. Instead, they’ll be the perfect reminder, that us humans have a choice to embrace change as a friendly foe, or a mortal enemy.
After finally choosing a side after a long battle, I never thought I’d get this far. Discouragement is nothing but the devil wanting you to give up; best part, giving him the smuggest smile when I say ‘no, not when I’ve gone this far’.