Funny how a little thing like momentum can really be the driving point behind everything. The longer you sit around with a project, not touching it, dreaming of what life would be like when it’s finished, the smaller the chance you’ll actually finish it. Yet if you just work on the project without thinking back to much, it’s over before you know it. And then you can work on the next thing. And then the next. And then the next.
Suddenly new ideas for future things keep popping up. Another big danger. Don’t give in to them. Put them aside for later use. IF you lose them, that’s okay: you’ve still got your current project. If you do chase those new ideas, there’s a good chance your previous project gets put to a halt because of it. And who is to say that the same thing won’t happen to what you’re working on now?
The more you push the ideas back, the more you resist going back and changing little things in your project early on, the bigger the chance you’ll actually succeed at making the thing that you’re working on. Never, under no circumstance, go back and change things because things later in the project have changed.
Well, okay, if you’re project is something like building a house, and the planning changes halfway through, naturally you are going to have to make some structural changes early on. But let’s assume you’re not building a house. I’m not building a house. If you are, kudos to you. That’s amazing. If you’re writing, or possibly even painting, or any other creative work, you should focus on finish the first iteration of your work before going back and changing things up.
Going back and editing in writing is a slippery slope. You’ll change one thing here, touch up a sentence there, scrap a word here… And come to the realization that all of this is incomplete. It’s crap. There’s no structure. You may as well start all over again.
If you just sit down and continue writing, more often than not, your story will find a balance of its own. Ideas and thoughts presented early on will grow, change, and develop. Characters who didn’t have a big role might start doing bigger, more important things.
Just keep yourself from editing sense or structure into it. It’s not likely to be there just yet. Or at least, not in the smooth form you envision your finished product to be. And that’s perfectly fine. If you allow the first version of your work to suck and just keep working on it anyway, you’ll strike on something much faster than if you keep canceling project after project because it isn’t good enough.
Think of it like this. You’re mining for gold. Naturally, you’re not going to come across gold immediately with no effort put into it. It’ll take a long time before you’ll come across something that isn’t rock. You’ll not only need your tools, your wit, and a basic idea of where the gold is. You need some fucking dedication to what you’re doing. Would you have respect for someone who went into a goldmine with a pickaxe, struck at a wall or two, and then walked out shaking his head saying “This mine’s no good?”
No, you fucking wouldn’t. You’d have respect for the asshole who stuck to that mine and walked out a millionaire.
Actually, I have no idea how goldmines work, or what the current exchange rate for gold is. Obviously we’ll need a lot of leniency to allow this example to work, but you get the general idea.
Also, if you have any ideas, any thoughts on projects, and you’re not sure if you’re capable of pulling it off. Not sure if you can make this work. Not sure if you’ve got the talent. Put those thoughts aside. Go for it.
One more thing:
I hate the word talent. It suckers you into believing it comes effortlessly because, hey, you got talent. You don’t even have to try, you just got it. That’s a lie, and you know it.