I recently put out an SOS call to some writer buddies. A colourful, interesting bunch of talented scribes, men and women at varied stages of their own careers. Busy people, too busy to be putting hours aside to read my stuff.
And yet, for the most part, that is exactly what they took time to do.
You see, I had gotten stuck in the mire of whether to move forward with a project, a novel. A project that over the years, the writing of which could be likened to a long-term relationship of passion, nail-biting obsession, occasional bouts of frustration and even the odd period of apathy.
Until, that is, I lost it all. Every frigging word of approximately 45,000 so far written, non-retrievable in all its fledgling glory between the scratched layers of a burnt-out Hard Drive. [And that’s another story!]
Six months later, having finally made peace with my own stupidity [BACK UP YOUR FILES, PEOPLE!] and with a template from the screenplay drafts of the story, some retrieved from said writer friends, I set about starting from scratch, writing the first chapter, while my brain, all the while, niggled with thoughts akin to the words of W.C Fields.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”
And as the chapter developed, between the lines, the doubts went back and forth as the nagging lefty DEVIL and righty ANGEL, each digging into weary, laptop-hunched shoulders, continued the schizophrenic debate…
You loved it enough to begin, so begin again. Let it lie, and quit flogging the proverbial dead horse. It’s in your system still, write it out and purge! You’re wasting precious writing time on this. You should be working on the other half-dozen concepts vying for your attention. Finish the goddamn thing and see where it takes itself! Pointless trying to revive something that should now be laid to rest...
Much like the smoking, smashed Hard Drive, the brain was deeply fried from it all. The squabbling might continue forever. I needed help! And I needed that help in the form of honest and solid feedback.
And the ‘writers’ rallied to the cause, with practical, sensible, encouraging, truthful opinions and feedback – and enough of a nudge to spur me on for one more try. What they gave me was indeed beyond the common eye, each, in their own way, reminding me of the heart and soul stuff that just refuses to QUIT!
Image/ quote sourced from Google images: Not the copyright of the author.