Sunday, April 21, 2013

Merciless Unto Your Craft

All---

One of the things that I think marks a professional writer is the ability to be merciless to himself and to his writing when necessary.  I'm not saying professionalism requires selling out, debasing your artistic integrity, or  treating your talents with disrespect.  I am saying that there are times you look at a project, even one you're 25K words into, that part of you loves very much, and realize that you can invest three years into making that one project work out, or you can nuke it and take on something else.

It's okay to be a pure artist, and to say, "No, I cherish this project," and I will work with it as long as it takes to make it right."

I think writers on the more professional end of the spectrum have to be willing to make those calls.

So that's what I'm doing for right now.  Book #2 is being nuked.  Actually, I'm parking it for another day.  There's a lot of potential in it, and there are things I love about it, but while Book #1 is on query right now, I need to focus my energy n having an effective follow-up offering in a timely way.  That's not going to happen with Book #2.

So now onto a new Book #2, which will be a stretching experience that will require plenty of its own merciless attention.

.Nevets.

4 comments:

  1. Congrats for having the courage to nuke the project. I have so many in my folders -- I keep thinking if I just had a little more time I could turn them around and make them viable.

    Maybe someday I'll just hit delete and open a new word.doc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes you just have to do that. It happened to me with a play I started last year- I got into the first act and knew that it wouldn't be healthy for me to continue it the way it was going.

    It was the first project that I felt invested in that I walked away from-- but at least I managed to harvest some poetry out of it later on. So not all was lost.

    I don't think any project we start is a mistake, whether we finish it or not. We learn from all of it and who knows what will happen later with it. I have a novel no one will likely ever see sitting here but I am still glad I wrote it and I still love it. I learned a lot from it.

    I think you're right though, it's part of the maturing process of the writer to know when you've started down a road that leads to a pasture that is going to require clearing by hand. Sometimes, you just have to go back to the other fork in the road and go that way.

    Great post.

    bru

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks to both of you. I'm about to write a follow-up post that may change some of this. haha

    ReplyDelete
  4. I so get it, just like we talked about. You know I gave up on my selkie book for good. Sad, but it had to be done in order to move on. I'm really excited to see what you come up with now!

    ReplyDelete

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