Someone recently asked me how I could keep working on a story after eighteen revisions.
Some would say stubbornness tenacity, others that I might be a little crazy.
Honestly, it’s a combination of both with a sprinkle of inspiration and perfectionism.
In writing, as with many creative endeavors, perfect is the enemy of good. It’s also the enemy of done. But, I do have a strong need to have things as perfect as I can make them. I won’t be happy until I feel like I’ve created the best thing that I can. Letting go and releasing things that are as good as I can do, even if not perfect, has actually been a journey for me. It’s one of the reasons why I sometimes struggle to reread my older work. It was the best I could do at the time, but I’ve gotten better since then.
Sometimes, the writing just doesn’t come. Sometimes, I stare at the blank page and no more than a few words appear on the screen. I still make myself sit and spend at least thirty minutes a day trying. And, I have set myself up to succeed by purposely arranged those thirty minutes to be at a time where I am not exhausted. Yes, it has meant rearranging my schedule, but it’s also increased my productivity. And, if I’m lucky, those thirty minutes will lead to more. But I have to apply bottom-to-chair to have any hope of making it happen.
I Love My Characters
Not sure I’m allowed to admit that I love them, but I can’t spend days, weeks, even months on ends trying to create characters I don’t love. I want them to get their happily-ever-after, so I keep working.
Sometimes inspiration guides me, and when it does, I can’t type fast enough to get the words on the page. Those are truly glorious moments. As a writer, you live for them even though they are rare and precious.
Anyone who can read the same book eighteen times and still be willing to rewrite it again? Yes, we have our share of crazy.
How about you? Any of you have tips on how to keep at something you know needs to be done but may have lost the inspiration to do?