The Time Has Come…

…the Walrus said… to drag an old WiP out of the drawer (i.e., flash drive) and attempt to make something out of it. I last worked on XIII back in November 2013 and was unsure of what its ultimate fate would be, so I stuck it in my flash drive and essentially forgot it existed while I was writing other things. But a couple weeks ago, I was struck by a laser beam of insanity. During the time in which I was suffused with the light from said laser beam, I re-read bits and pieces of the story and realized that it was time to actually do something with it. I originally intended to let it sit for one month before revisiting it, but the months passed by and time got away from me. And I’m tired of telling myself that I’m going to do something and not following through.

So now it’s almost two years later, and I’m adding this WiP back onto my “stack of stuff” to line-edit. For the first time in this WiP’s 10-plus-year history, I’m not going to be fully rewriting it. What’s already there is fine as is for the most part (or at least it’s as good as it’s gonna get). The challenge is I have never really edited anything I’ve written before (aside from short stories fewer than 2,000 words), and XIII is a behemoth. I started editing a few chapters, and it’s going very slowly. I haven’t made any kind of deadline because in a way, this is almost an experiment. I still don’t know what I intend to do with XIII if it gets finished, so I’m going to play it by ear for now. Some might see this as a complete waste of time, but any way I can get “practice” or move even a few steps forward is worthwhile to me.

I also suspect that my subconscious mind has its own motive for returning to XIII, which is that I’m beginning to lose steam on my other WiP (RAFAEL), mostly because it was essentially my sole project for longer than it should have been. (I don’t believe in working on just one thing at once.) Don’t get me wrong, I am making progress, but it is not what I had originally envisioned. I’m trying to be patient with myself and remember that RAFAEL is only in its second full draft, so it will in all likelihood be crap, so I should just let it be crap and be OK with that.

So my new mantra has become, “The only way to fail is to do nothing.” So I will chip away at these WiPs little by little and will continue to reassure myself that I am in fact making progress regardless of how small those chips may be.

6 thoughts on “The Time Has Come…

  1. Every step taken is progress! Also, it is only a waste of time if you are not getting anything out of it, so I would say it is not a waste of time at all! I have a couple stories I have done that with, and let me tell ya, my writing really improved for it! Also, I have a couple that are now waiting for me, because I know that the story needs to be told, and I just find as my writing improves, so does the story!

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  2. “But a couple weeks ago, I was struck by a laser beam of insanity”

    That’s a great feeling. When you’re working on the right project at the right time – that’s when good things can happen.

    The metaphor of chipping away is a good one, since if you’re standing close enough to do the chipping, you’re not going to see the whole. But then at a certain point (probably wiping sweat from your brow 🙂 ) you’ll step back far enough to see that the block of raw material is now something very different.

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  3. “The only way to fail is to do nothing.” Very true! Even if you only manage a little bit at a time, it’s still more than you had before you started, and thus it’s still progress!

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