Points in time and the writing journey
Points in time keep us moving. Milestones, either real world achievements or in our heads add to our sense of productivity, achievement, and well-being. The outcome is not as important as the journey and it’s important to not look too far ahead. If you’re only thinking about the end, you miss out on everything that goes into our lives.
It’s the same for writing. If you’re just starting out then the important thing is to get a first draft written, all your ideas down and into some semblance of a progressing storyline. This is not the time to worry too much about whether your writing is perfect, storyline is perfectly plotted or the time to think too much about finding editors or publishers. This is the time for getting it all out. Write until you’re used up and the sponge that is your creative brain is wrung out and dry. This purge of ideas in story form may last a whole novel or may pause in natural endings that you can base your chapters on. Take a rest and then start over again. Read through your notes, make changes, and jot down facts to be checked.
Parts that need rewriting will reveal themselves to you (over many revisions). These may be parts that you absolutely love, lines that you can’t bear to part with. If the wrench is too great, leave them in. By the time you come to your third, fourth, or fiftieth revision, the attachment will have weakened and you will be less worried about your astonishing insightfulness and more about whether or not you’ll ever get this project finished.
You will eventually reach a point in time when you will know that your project is finished, when you have a manuscript ready to be packaged and sent out into the world. By that time, you will have been on an amazing journey of learning: resilience, patience, steadfastness, determination, and how to write.