I’ve admittedly gone kicking and screaming the entire way through drafting and revising my first novel Lost Girl Road. The reasons for this are many, but not giving up has taught me a lot. I’d like to share two brief sources on creativity and learning that have provided me with inspiration along the way.
My story crafting skills have gradually began to catch up with my taste. This admission is not me being a perfectionist. It’s me being practical. I’ve always been a slow and careful learner, and am actually proud that I’ve not gone about anything hastily. It doesn’t matter that I earned multiple writing degrees and have started a freelance editing business. Butt in chair time is the only way to improve as a writer, and real learning is rarely a smooth process.
Have I made things hard on myself? Yes. Would I have done it any other way? No.
Consider this quote from Pamela McCorduck’s Machines Who Think:
We all know that we have all these horrible moments of confusion when we begin a new project, that nothing looks clear and everything looks awful, that we work our way out using all sorts of little rules of thumb, by going down blind alleys and coming back again, and so on, but since everyone else seems to be thinking logically, or at least they claim they do, then we figure we must be the only ones in the world with such murky thought processes.
We disclaim them, and make believe we think in logical, orderly ways, all the time knowing very well that we don’t. And the worse offenders here are teachers, who present crisp, clean batches of knowledge to their students, and look as if they themselves learned that knowledge in a crisp, clean way. It didn’t happen that way, but teachers don’t admit it, and the students groan inwardly, feeling so hopelessly dumb.
Will my first novel be perfect? Most definitely not. Will it even be any good? That much is anyone’s guess at this point. But I will finish Lost Girl Road. I will query agents. And when I ever start my next novel, I will have experience on my side.
What struggles involving creativity and learning have you faced and how did you overcome the desire to quit?
Join me on Finding Our Way Now for my latest Guest Post: Riding Lessons: #Story
Permission must be granted by JeriWB to use the image in this quote.