SUBLIMINAL MONDAY: "The End" is just The Beginning

When writing, do you trust yourself to make the right decisions or do you bypass your instincts for the more "reasonable" solution? Do you question your character's motives or worry about where the plot is headed? [NEWS FLASH: Your characters can only do/say/think what you tell them. They're not real. Sorry, I'm just the messenger.] Do you change things in your wip because of something a crit partner says, even if you don't fully agree?

One of the best things you can do as a writer is trust your instincts. Keep your fingers typing. and trust your muse to push you forward. [There's no such thing as a muse. It's imaginary. Again, just the messenger.] But remember, the finished draft is nothing more than a place to start, a jumping off point, an extremely rough sketch. [Think five-year old with crayons.]

As incredible as it is to "birth" a story, the more amazing part - and where the real work begins - is immediately after typing, "The End." In other words, the end is just the beginning. [So, what's really the point? Like so totally existential, dude!]

When we complete our first draft, we feel a sense of well-earned euphoria. [Legal, drug-free high = SCORE!] After that accomplishment, the [dark, dismal] reality known as editing begins. The carefree rush of getting [pretty much any] words down on paper is replaced with the deliberate anguish of dissecting every letter of every word on every page. This is where the deeper writing begins; where your seasoned skills come into play. [Don't be shy. You know you've got 'em.]

This is all well and good, except for people like me who are impatient, perfectionist, control freaks. I want everything done perfectly yesterday. [Hmm, wonder why I'm never satisfied...] Unfortunately, the publishing biz is known for moving at a very tired snail's pace. Fortunately, I've mellowed a lot with age, and now enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Crafting words as perfectly as I can is fun, challenging, and satisfying. [This is one example of the BS I tell myself when inches away from pulling my hair out by its [graying] roots.] Yes that was a SM within a SM. Pretty cool, huh? No? Oh, well, never mind, then.

So, next time you write, "The End" know you've really just reached the beginning. Writing is a never-ending roller coaster ride. Pat yourself on the back, take a day or two off, and get your butt back in that chair. [Insert sound of whip cracking.] Trust your instincts and let your passion guide you and your talent explode on the pages. [Don't worry about the mess. Writing should always be a bit messy, or at least seem that way. If you don't know what I mean, ask your muse. ;-)]

Painting is called, Kiss of the Muse or The Dream of the Poet by Paul Cezanne
painted 1859-1860.
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