I’ve talked before on this blog about how, roughly two years ago, I deleted all the writing I’d done to that point in my life in order to force myself to both focus more on projects I cared about, but also to bring all writing I produced up to my now current level of skill. It was a tough decision, but I ultimately assured myself that if anything I was deleting was really worth it, then I’d start over from scratch and “do it right.”
I’m blessed to have a number of friends who lend me their time and attention as sounding boards, readers, and editors. While Beneath the Wood was a completely new undertaking I was inspired to write immediately after the “purge,” Five Talents is actually the second attempt at a story concept I had attempted before deleting everything.
A couple of close friends have the dubious honor of having read both versions of the story. One friend, in particular, who finished my latest draft just this weekend past was highly complimentary not just of the story itself, but of the “night and day” difference between it and it’s rough attempt three years prior.
Taken with a grain of salt since I’m still not sure it’s “good enough” to “make it” in the competitive publishing world, but it’s good proof that my change to the project management has a marked difference in the caliber of the result. Beneath the Wood, was itself a product I’m proud of, but comparing my current draft of Five Talents with its previous attempt, I know that it’s a a much better product that I can be happy calling finished, regardless of how my querying agents and publishers goes.
This is, once more, my encouragement to all my fellow artists and hopefuls: don’t get locked in tedium of your “craft.” Evolve your methods, application and technique. Take the big steps to make yourself do so if needed. Whether at a granular level of changing where and when you sit to work at your craft, or at the strategic level of how you manage and schedule projects- be honest and frank about your weaknesses. Demand of yourself to evolve and grow.
It might be disheartening at times to find bad habits, deficiencies or hurdles between you and your goals without an immediate answer of how to fix, address or remove them. Sometimes even, the answer may be daunting, or downright frightening. However, I assure you that if only for your own satisfaction of the going the distance, giving it your true best, you can take the deep breath and the steps needed- and I promise you’ll be all the better for it.
As always friends, we move forward.