There is a power in starting a work. But it is a greater thing to pick one back up! This is week I want you to examine what you may have left behind in the first part of the year (remember The Writers’ Block Podcast is always a resource!), and determine what you can do or what you need to finish. Do not determine your success by a calendar!
There is a magic to revisiting what you have created. There are some of us whom do this work, practice this craft, know that not everything can be written, and not everything can be seen either. But you have to know that what you have on you head–it will eventually find its way out of it.
There is this concept of a draft-drawer I heard Anne Rice speak about during one of her Facebook Live sessions. She said that she doesn’t toss work away–she saves it! She saves it because it may be needed for something else.
It may be backstory for something else; the original idea can be reworked (Christopher Rice said he remembered the novel we know as The Witching Hour being a totally different permutation before the finished work); the work can be used to be a subplot–but nothing needs to be thrown away! The map to the work you need to write–is in your hands.
The drafts are maps! No good explorer or adventurer throws away their map! Writing is one of those careers where mapping, where recording is one of the ways by which the work is completed. And the work must be completed!
Do not be afraid of the work ahead, Oracles. Do not be afraid of what you must do, must get out of you, and what you are excited about! Writing is hard enough! There are some work you will do which will require a map–don’t sell yourself short.
There is this concept of a draft-drawer on my podcast, The Writers’ Block. But the concept in its entirety is not my own. I heard the marvelous Anne Rice mention that she doesn’t throw any work away–she puts it in a drawer.
Anne Rice says that she does this because she wants to be able to go back and revisit a work, and have something to draw from. I agree. As a writer, you need to have, to develop enough faith in your work that you value even the things you do not complete!
The things you have stored away, hidden away or you find yourself second guessing? Don’t toss them away: save them. Why you may ask? Not everything that is incomplete is impossible. Not every project, every poem, every novel is created, finished in a linear fashion! Some things we start need to sit with us a while longer. The POV redone, more research added. But nothing should be tossed away because the process to create it is hard.
What is in your draft-drawer? What things have you kept? What things do you need to revisit? Why have you not revisited them?
The draft-drawer is a form of self-recycling. Your imagination is both the source and end of all things in this capacity. You control the pace and flow of the work! With you saving the work, this work undone or unpolished, you grant yourself the freedom to start again; creation is at your demand. Do not sell yourself so short as to throw something away.
The Three R’s found in Ecology are apt with writers as well, albeit with a twist:
The free writes, the stray and floating ideas–what do you have on hand?
On Season 1 of The Writers’ Block Podcast, I talked about the this concept. I talked about how we, as writers, don’t truly know the wealth that we have! In understanding that wealth you have, you created, you may have to create something that I call, the draft-drawer.
The draft-drawer is a place where you put all the work you haven’t gotten to yet, aren’t sure where to go next, or things you got stuck on. This could even be snippets of plots, titles, or even snippets of conversation you jot! Your draft-drawer is a both a well and wealth of information!
With the new year, new decade at slow hum, don’t think that you need to recreate the wheel! That can be stressful for a writer, trust me. But you need to know is the new, potent, powerful work may just be hidden in a file. It may be incomplete. It may be in the transition from the thoughts in your head to the words and worlds on the page.
The work is there. The work has always been there. It’s your job to either find it, complete it, or find more of it.
Last week, I found 3 drafts of books I wanted to start. Not one. Not two. But three of them. This is the concept of the Draft-Drawer that I talked about on the podcast, The Writers’ Block.
In this, the last month of the year, the last year of this decade, I invite you to look at your Draft-Drawer. Look at what you planned to do. What you wanted to do. It is sometimes when you are faced with what you planned for yourself, that you actually being to do it.
Get to work, dear ones. Don’t let the year end with your work not done.
Writing is one of the few professions were merit is your credit. Where your ability to honor the others that come before you, allows you to increase your influence and networking.
One of the worst things you can have as a writer is ‘bad credit.’ The worst thing you can be labeled as is a writer that takes work without credit, or publishes other people’s work as your own, or whom is known to not ‘own your own pen.’
I know the process of writing can be hard, it can be thankless, and an easy out can [seem to be] plagiarism.
Don’t fall for that trap. You can do better.
Don’t ruin your writer credit.
With Love & Ink,
Note: The topic of ‘bad credit’ as a writer will be discussed is Season 2 of The Writers’ Block Podcast–which resumes on December 5, 2019.
One of my greatest joys is running this podcast! My fellow writers, I encourage you to subscribe and follow all happenings on Facebook! Below is the schedule until the end of Season 1. Season 2 will begin on 12/12/19.