Getting Back on the (Draft) Horse

As I write this I am a good way through my third draft of my upcoming project Clouded. The rewriting is a little difficult – I’ve mentioned previously that I struggle greatly with self-cringe, and I know that I’m far from proficient with dialogue, which is where the brunt of the remaining work lies. However, I have a modicum of pride in it as a decent script, so it could be worse. I’m not here to gripe about it, this time at least.

Writing, for me, has been a hobby I have always been drawn to. Since I could read (perhaps earlier), I wanted to be a novelist. My focus turned more towards screenwriting in high school, and I’ve even successfully completed 50K-words-in-a-month NaNoWriMo challenges twice.

However, my projects have tended to be few and far between. One year I tried building upon the previous year’s NaNoWriMo project – a science fiction novel – trying to shape it into a full draft, but relied too much on an external support group and lost motivation when they fell through.

Before this year’s blogging, drafts of Clouded and my penning a feature film treatment, it would likely have been a year or more since I had last written anything in a creative context, either due to a lack of outlet or motivation. But the aforementioned projects have meant I’ve written somewhat frequently in the last few months, and the result is a degree of self-enlightenment.

Between the keystrokes something comes forward, and I had failed to realise it until relatively recently. Writing heals me. From the pages life blooms from within my soul, dusts cobwebs from my brain, forms an antidote to the poison within myself. Sluggish thoughts coalesce into sentences and images with a sense of clarity I’d lost touch with.

After a long time running scared, it takes a significant investment of courage. After all, depression breeds more of itself. The lack of motivation to start or work on a writing project which would in the process lessen the depression, engenders spiralling. Eventually one has spiralled down to a lack of motivation to leave bed or live life at all. Feelings I’m more than familiar with.

In all I’ve tried to do for myself, what injects a spark of life in me is writing.

I still feel a little sick to my stomach hitting the ‘Publish’ button or sending a script out into the world. I hope each time makes it a fraction easier, because I’ve come to know that doing so is a tiny, temporary victory.

Painfully simplistic a reduction of this lesson would be “just start” – as many times as I’ve heard that over the years, not once has it worked to start any habit. My intention of codifying my feelings about writing, however, is to have written down a basic reminder of what the results of a writing habit can be.

Consequently, I’m setting a goal for myself: to write one page (or equivalent) per day. This may be on a script, an assignment for uni, or one of these blog posts. My intent also is to post here at least thrice per month – not quite weekly, but maybe I’ll warm up to that frequency.

I don’t wish to set myself up to fail, though, for I know I will. It’s a lofty goal, but it’s in service of a lofty aspiration. I want to give myself the grace and latitude to fail this goal some days or months without emotional self-flagellation. At the same time, setting such a goal with little or no accountability may doom it to complete failure.

It’ll be worth monitoring, that’s for certain, and if I require more accountability, I’ll have to work something out. At this stage, though, I’m happy enough to set out and see how well I do.

‘Til the next one (soon) —


2 thoughts on “Getting Back on the (Draft) Horse”

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