Friday, January 12, 2018

Powering Through

Being creative is hard work. It takes effort, commitment, time, dedication, and tenacity. I've seen artists become successful on a local level, but I also know how many years it took them to get there. Writing and editing are no different from other forms of art.

Writing for me comes naturally. My first drafts are messy, convoluted, and sometimes need a huge overhaul, because I do a little bit of outlining and a bunch of pantsing. I go into writing with vague ideas that end up getting fleshed out halfway through, which means I always have to go back. Rewrites are a big part of my writing process, and they are also more time consuming than writing.

There's something about re-reading the first words I've put down that makes me a bit disheartened. I think in my head, "This isn't good." I second guess myself and my art. It pushes me to the edge of wanting to give up, because the words didn't flow the way I wanted them to.

Rewriting is where I get stuck. It's the part of the process where I have to power through and just "do it." The only person holding me back is the inner editor inside me that dislikes (hate is too strong of a word) my first draft.

Drafts are not supposed to be this shiny, perfect thing that you can push out into the world. Drafts are for shaping and folding, mending into the story you want it to become. This part of the process should be fun (at least on some level). I have this novel in my hands that I created, and now I just have to make it better. I should look at this as enhancement, but I always struggle to get through.

All writers struggle with some part of the process, and despite the struggle, you should never give up.

Being creative takes time and dedication. You have to forgive yourself if it's not perfect, and then you have to work on making it better. I could throw this book aside and say, "Eh, I'll get to that later." But if I stop now, I'll lose momentum. I'll, essentially, give up.

What is your reason for powering through when you are struggling creatively?

Mine is the characters I create. I know they have a story worth sharing, which makes me want to finish what I've started. Even if the story is over, the characters never really leave me.

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