metaphors on writing and making progress

For me, coming up with new ideas is not a problem. I’ve plenty of them. But, as the maxim goes: an idea is not a story. Crafting the idea into a story is the tricky part.

Thinking of this I opened up my “ideas” file yesterday, and was grateful I had the sense to outline some of them. I’d forgotten several concepts until I re-read them. Always get it down on paper. Or, as in this case, transcribe it as data. The file needed updating, so I added a number I’ve been mulling over.

This simple document is broken down into sections: short stories, novels, comics, and screenplays. By the end of my life I intend to have written, and been published/produced, in each of these categories. Why not be ambitious?

Until recently, the biggest problem I had was finishing stories. Now, I strive to be part of the “get the fucking thing written and worry about originality/plot/characters in the rewrite” school. I try not to over-think the first draft. Write the bastard and see what comes out.

Actually, this works best if I get the timing right on the story. Some tales have to be left stewing for days, weeks or years, while others can be popped in the microwave for a couple of minutes and they’re ready. The trick is to know which story is which.

This is why some of my stories get stalled; I misjudge a jambalaya for a TV dinner.

You’d think that would be a difficult mistake to make, but you’d be surprised…

My writing has improved steadily this year, but I’m still impatient with it. Yeah, it’s better, but it’s not where I want it to be yet. (Thinking about it, I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely satisfied with it.) This is the major source of my frustration with my writing. That’s been somewhat alleviated by my recent discovery of the zip code to competency, even if I’m trying to escape the endless suburbs of mediocrity.

Dammit, I missed the exit again!

The only solution is to keep writing. The more I write, the more I learn. I need to complete, and send out, more stories. I have to allow my failures to encourage, not depress, me. I have to experiment, try new styles and voices, and free my imagination from clich?s and lazy thinking. I have to be crazy, foolish, brave, and stubborn. (This is where the inspiring music should reach its crescendo.)

I may not attain my goals this year, but I will achieve them eventually.

Oh, and the new printer is working (so far). Yay!