After reading as much as I can about the literary journeys of different authors, I have come to the conclusion that writing success comes to those who have…mastered the art of finding their way back to their projects.
We leave our stories behind for a variety of reasons:
We need to distance ourselves from them at the end of drafting.
Beta reader criticism has started to sting.
Rejections have broken our heart.
We don’t think it is working as a story.
We have lost faith in our abilities.
For whatever reason we bid farewell to a writing project, finding our way back to it can be one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.
Returning to a first or second or tenth draft which you finished writing a few months ago can be tough, especially when all those fuzzy, warm feelings have vanished.
Trying to find your way back to something which came under heavy criticism from beta readers requires bags of bravery.
Going back to a story which didn’t work the first time but you know you have to try again is challenging.
Finding your way back to a project which got a lot of rejections is character building. There are a few projects of mine which have been rejected and are now burning holes in my writing folders.
I ADMIRE all the writers out there who find their way back to projects, which were rejected, criticised, hated, broken or faulty and either improve them or turn them into something better. You are my heroes.
So, how do you master the art of finding your way back to your writing?
You become a believer in the art of revision. The famous quote, ‘almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts,’ is on your desk.
You know you’ve been here before with a first draft. You know that after a couple of drafts your feelings will change.
You believe in your work and your abilities.
You are able to wrestle your ego to the floor when it starts telling you all sorts of unwanted stuff about rubbish your first draft sounded.
You know you can touch people with your stories.
You are willing to accept writing success is all about playing the long game. Your story might not work now, but in time when you have grown as a writer, distanced yourself from it AND found your way back, it might set the world on fire!
Have you ever had to find your way back to a project?
Keep writing x