Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Unfinished Pieces for Another Time

There used to be a time, not too long ago (about a week actually), when I would feel guilty for spending time brainstorming new ideas. The reason behind this that I always thought I should focus on finishing projects that are already open. From earlier days of writing, I have several books stuck at various stages. This year, as I learned more about the craft in a focused manner, I thought I should start focusing on finishing those, and setting them to right. There are projects which were merely ideas or had mere few thousand words written. I set them aside easily enough. The problem was mainly about 4 books, three of which actually have whole first drafts complete, except that those first drafts need a total re-write, plot needs to be worked on, and basically it is much more of a hassle than simply starting something new. But the guilt kept nagging me, so after finishing NaNo, I reviewed them, planning to pick one of them to work on. But as I went through the process, I had one of those “aha” moment. I realised that I didn’t HAVE to do them now. In fact, I was not yet ready to do them. First, I want to make sure that I can complete a book that is of publishable standard. With the things I have learned, and with things I am still learning, it is easier to focus on applying those things to something new. So why not? My old drafts aren’t going anywhere, and if I still feel the urge to write those stories, I can do that at a later date. Though I have already noticed that some things from those stories seep into my current stories. So those plots will need to be altered anyway to make them fresh. No more guilt. As soon as I made that decision, I was perfectly happy. I will just work on writing the new books I have in mind, and let those old ones rest for now. Making decisions is so liberating :-)


  1. It is quite liberating, isn't it? I have three drafts complete that may or may not ever be edited...and that's okay. If I go back to them someday, great. If not, no harm done. They're just stepping stones on the way to where I am now.

    Good for you, letting those go (for now). :-)

  2. I'm glad you got rid of the guilt. I like to look at unfinished work as potential stories for some day. It makes them sound much better than failed attempts or weak ideas or whatever else pops into mind.

  3. Good for you!

    I too have some old drafts that I'm leaving aside. I'm okay with that for now. I'm sure I'll get back to them someday :o)

  4. Thanks Girls. :-) Yes it is definitely liberating having made that decision.

  5. Yes yes yes!

    I'm in the same boat - I also have 2 (maybe 3) novels in various stages that I started a while back, before my craft tightened.

    I've been practising the concept of letting go of some things to say yes to others this whole year, in life as well as in writing.

    I'm really glad to see this affirmation. Okay 52 faces, let them lie for now!

  6. 52 Faces,

    Good for you!