So, I was working on this short story the other day. This brilliant idea just came to me out of nowhere. The ideas were coming to me like crazy, just bouncing around in my head, begging to be written down. So I take out my computer and let my fingers fly over the keyboard.
It was wonderful. It usually takes me forever to find that perfect word or phrase, but not this time. The words poured out of me so eloquently. My sentences were strung together so coherently. My ideas just flowed.
I was extremely satisfied with myself. After about 30-40 minutes, I stopped. Smiled smugly. As I joined the family for dinner I kept thinking of what I was going to add to my masterpiece, as I wasn't quite finished with it yet. I practically skipped upstairs to get back to my computer to read over it one more time.
And...it wasn't as good as I thought it was. It wasn't terrible. It just wasn't the total and utter perfection I had built it up to be in my mind. And that stumped me.
#BeingAWriterIsLike *writing story* This is genius! 30 minutes later...This is GARBAGE.
— Ally Randolph (@scribble_sprite) April 8, 2015
The thing is, our writing can seem a lot better to us as we're writing it. For me, I get so proud of these little snippets of my stories and forget to look at it as a whole.
There comes a point where we just need to take a step back and look objectively at our writing. It's then that we begin to see--is this really as amazing as I thought it was?
I've made a lot of progress with this since I first started out. It used to be that I would write a story, declare it perfect and want to leave it as is. I pushed away niggles of doubt that tried to tell me, "maybe just one more edit?" I mean, how could I want to change my baby? My masterpiece?
Since then, I've learned something about first drafts.
Sometimes, they can really, really stink. And that's okay. Like Anne Lamott said, we all have to start somewhere.
I think I got off to a pretty good start with my short story. It needs some more work, but I'm willing to put in the effort. The important thing is that we don't give up, even when we don't end up with what we first had in mind.
My purpose for creating Writer Struggles was just to provide a little help and encouragement to fellow writers. I'll be completely honest when I say that writing is just a hobby for me, and I don't pretend to be an expert. I look at a lot of other teen bloggers and it amazes me how much more they write than I do. Still, I know something of the craft. :) But mainly, I just want to hear YOUR opinion on the topic. And if I'm of any help, that's great too!
So, what about you? Have you ever experienced this struggle? Is it hard to push on when you look back on your story and it's not what you thought it was?