I had been so satisfied with the progress I was making on my WiP earlier this last year. My attitude about my first draft was prudent, taking into account that many words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and scenes would be amended in a later version.
Just getting into my second draft in September, the enthusiasm was spurring me forward. It was glorious until I lost my first draft. It, undeniably, was my own doing. I didn’t do it intentionally, purely by accident. Nevertheless, the abominable deed was done. (If you’re curious, you can read about the incident here.)
This event happened the first part of last October. By chance—or maybe it was an unwitting action—I did save all my notes and working summaries on the project. I continued to labor over my “second’ draft” until the middle of November. Most of that time, the work was taxing and exhausting. The holiday season was just around the corner and I knew my motivation and plain capability would wane even more. I shelved my project in defeat.
I haven’t brought it out again yet, and it may never see my computer screen again. The characters are flat—filmy flat—and the storyline is weak. Albeit, every once in a while I mull over the inkling of using those notes and summaries to generate a new version of the story. Mind you, I just think about it, never getting close to the notion of going through with it. Yet, I’ve started to work on another story I’ve had rolling around in my head. I’m not going at it fast and feverous though. I’m approaching it with leisureliness, hoping to feel a deeper rapport with the story as a whole.
Does this mean I quit, that I give up? It’s an equivocal question for me at the moment. When I was young, I was enthralled with writing, much the same as I am now, except my inclination wasn’t with fiction. During those years I was more likely to be seen writing an essay of some depiction. I, evidently, felt I had opinions worth bestowing—on who I can’t fathom right now. If you ask Tess, my friend at How the Cookie Crumbles, she’d probably tell you that I do have a little aptitude in the writing category of essays. She had written an email to me earlier this past year, telling me about her allurement to most of my blog posts displaying my perception of whatever was the chosen subject.
Maybe I should take some time to explore this writing avenue more carefully. Yes? No? Perhaps? Would this imply that I’m quitting because I’m not seeing my project through to the end and, instead, changing my focus of the craft?
Different people have been telling me to persevere during my entire life. Yet, during these sixty plus years, I’ve found that some things aren’t worthy of that undying persistence. There are situations in life, which absolving is the sensible course of action. Not everything is deserving of that endless fight.
Is this one of those times to abandon and move on? Or am I cutting the ties too soon?
Dear Reader, I’m not asking for your advice on this matter. I’m just sending this out into the infinite space of our being to give all of it a chance to breathe. Even as I write this, I’m inclined to make my decision.
Do you give up?
Choice of attention … is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be. – W. H. Auden