At 45 years of age I’ve come to realise that nothing is really ever perfect, especially if I’m a variable in the equation (I won’t talk about math a lot, promise). I try to make perfect my lodestar; something for which to strive. At least where writing is concerned not so much about gardening or yard-work. I think that if your mindset is set on improving then that is what you will do; improve.
And so a draft is a plan. It can be either extensively plotted out or a mere rough outline. A draft is a version of work. A draft is not a finished product. And, because it’s not a finished product I try not to put much stock in it. I own the story, the characters, the plot, but someone else might come along and say, ‘I thought you already killed that character off’ (true story by the way) and then I have to correct that issue. The story is there, the ending is there, but the journey is not a finished thing. Corrections will be made. Changes will trickle throughout the story with each correction. As long as progress is made that’s good, right?
No vested interest in drafts.
I know what I want to write and the emotions I want to evoke and the outcomes I want to achieve in my stories. And, I know that I don’t always succeed at conveying those emotions. Readers may question things that I felt were obvious. That, to me, means I have to improve my story. And so, a first draft is just one step of many on my path to completing a novel. Just like starting this website and blog is one step of many to get my stories out into the world.
I know the danger, or at least I think I do, of no vested interest in drafts. It also means I can fall into a trap of analysis paralysis. That something I’ve written is not good enough and therefore I must rewrite it over and over again. Perfect is the enemy of good enough, but I find good enough is the enemy of improvement. In the end perfection need not be the enemy of improvement. It all comes down to balance.
I’ll write about things that interest me. It could be politics, family, marriage, children, friends, stress, short stories, how I’m doing. I’ll write about life.
So, that’s my journey. Hope you’ll come along on the ride at various times.