Picking up the threads

As a writer, you have to trust that your work will get better each time you come back to it. Very few writing projects are started and finished in one sitting. Even a short story requires planning, writing, re-writing, editing. Novels can take months and years to go from flash of inspiration to final manuscript. Every time you sit down to write, you take time to bring together all the threads of your work in progress. When you stop to rest, they slip from your grasp again.  It can be hard not to fear that the work has unravelled without your attention. Even if it does you will soon weave it again in to something just as good, maybe even better.

If you are fortunate you will be able to return to your work in a few hours, or the next day. But for many of us writing happens around the commitments of life and work. You might return to your writing a day, a week, a month or sometimes even years later. So you have to trust that every time you come back to your work, it is better than when you left it. The ideas it is made of may have changed a little, or a lot, but the new ideas will be stronger, and closer to the spirit of what you are trying to express.

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3 thoughts on “Picking up the threads”

  1. …to say nothing of poets like me, who torture so few words through numerous/endless re-drafts!

    Positive self-talk is an essential part of the writer’s toolkit, I say. Face your fear (ref previous blog post), yes, but overcoming your fear/having the conviction that successive drafts are moving in the right direction/have any mileage at all – that’s another matter altogether…

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    1. There’s a whole process of learning to overcome our internal challenges when we write. Doubt, fear, anxiety. all the things that come with any complex, creative act. Worse sometimes for poets, because much of the creation is entirely conceptual.

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