Over the weekend I finished the rough draft of a short story. Then, I took Sunday off from writing. This morning my creativity started percolating.
I’ve had another short story in very rough draft for about ten months. With a major book revision and several other short story ideas I just haven’t had time to edit this story. But this morning, I had fresh ideas for this story. Elements of the project that needed fleshing out suddenly gained clarity.
After sitting down with the story, importing it into Scrivener and making notes about it I realized something: I was charged about taking on this project. Many other writers suggest writing a story and letting it lie for a while before editing. The reason for this hiatus is that it allows your mind to look at the content from different perspectives.
While I think that this was definitely the case with this particular short story, I also believe there is another reason the story came alive for me again. With a draft completed my mind had space to creatively play with the story. Perhaps it’s something like a butterfly escaping its cocoon but I also think it’s the need for variety.
It occurred to me that completing a project allows creativity to flow. The mind craves something different – a varied “spice” – and it starts working through all the ideas that are backlogged. So it’s a very good reason to complete a project. It breathes fresh air over stale ideas. It allows creativity to stretch.
With several short fiction projects in my backlog of ideas, I suddenly have momentum for them. With momentum, comes more enthusiasm and motivation. With some luck, I’ll complete editing this different story soon and move onto another, new idea (I’m alternating writing and editing short stories right now). I hope with increasing momentum, I’ll move onto the second and third books in short order to complete those drafts as well as actually release my first full-length novel this year.
One of my major goals for the year is publication. I want to submit at least six short stories to fiction markets and publish my first novel. Perhaps I’ll have time to get to my second novel published late in the year. It’s a lofty goal, but these butterfly ideas certainly push me onward. The short fiction I can take in smaller chunks which help push the larger goals toward completion.
Are you reaching for your goals with small chunks? What butterflies are emerging for you this year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.
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I agree that sometimes you need to push through a story or chapter to then find the perspective and creativity to add to it and change it around. If I’m writing a pivotal scene, especially one tying up lots of plot lines, the idea driving the scene forces me to write it through to the end while I have the momentum. After that, I’ll add the other nuances and loop in sub plots. Capturing the essence on the first draft is my goal!
Agreed, with the short story I’m editing I never even came up with character names. I just wrote the draft in hopes of coming back to that. But you can do that with a shorter piece like this. Sometimes the urgency of completing an idea is more important the details that come later.
Good write-up. I definitely love this website.
Thank you for visiting the site and your kind words.