This for That

Every decision in life requires a trade-off. As the cliché goes, for every door of opportunity that opens, another closes. That’s especially true when there isn’t enough time to turn around.

Door MazeAs usual, I’m racing through tight corridors.

I’ve been exchanging writing for sleep during my bus commutes for the past month. This has helped me get through the workday as my body struggles to heal (from a sprain, overworked muscles, migraines, etcetera) but leaves me feeling a bit unsatisfied by the time I arrive home.

Choosing to work on DeCo (my adult sci-fi novel) at night after fight practices, I use up time for house cleaning, socializing, and blogging.

More complicated trade-offs are made with changes to the novel. For every new direction in a scene, I must rewrite other scenes. Of course, a few of those scenes are “darlings”, favorite passages that I want to retain even when they no longer fit with the overall story.

Obviously, I’m not great with world building, character design, and plotting; otherwise, I wouldn’t realize half-way through drafting that the supposed good guy acts badly too often, the characters’ living arrangements aren’t believable, and I’m missing essential transitions between major scenes early in the story.

I can’t trade off DeCo for a simpler project, unfortunately. By doing so, I would lose something indescribably important. I’m learning about myself from this project in addition to learning about how to write fiction. I’m certain that a simpler project would not give me enough opportunities to grow.

I’ll stay in the maze until a better offer comes along.


8 thoughts on “This for That”

  1. I like your attitude, Ann. You’ll be glad that you’re not taking an easier way when you reach the ending. There’s always lots to be learned. Nothing is learned when we do things right on our first attempt.

  2. I agree with your interpretation, but consider the possibility that working on a different story (regardless of length) will teach you entirely different lessons than what your current story is offering. But, of course, there’s the infamous time constraint issue (which is something *I’m* still learning to conquer).

    1. Hi, Steve! I started DeCo years (ohhh, years) ago and have, of course, worked on other projects in the meantime. You’re right that each story teaches different lessons. Short stories are particularly helpful medium for experiments, but I take them too seriously. Whenever I start one, I think about the possible time commitment and immediately lose faith.

      I’m starting to believe that self-confidence is somewhat inversely proportional to the amount of time needed to complete a project…but I haven’t figured out the equation.

      1. Ah, the equation, if only someone would figure it out and publish it life could be so much easier. I agree wholeheartedly with you though. That self-confidence is inversely proportional to the amount of time you need to complete the project. I’ve seen that at work with the technical aspect of my job and some of the incredibly involved projects I’ve sometimes been thrown in to.

        I understand about the trading and making compromises on priorities too. I’ve sometimes been trading reading and studying on the bus for sleep after long shifts or incredibly long weeks ect. It’s unfortunate but has to be done. Keep plugging away and don’t regret those decisions. You’re making the choices you do for a reason.

        You’ll get there with your story, Ann! Just keep working at it and believing in yourself. The time you put out is worthwhile and you will feel a huge accomplishment when you finish. Not to mention the experience and the knowledge you will have gained by persevering and seeing it through to completion. Don’t lose faith, Ann!

        1. Thomas, I know it’s been a couple of weeks, but I want to thank you for your comments. I can use all the encouragement I can get!

  3. Just stopping by to say hello. I hope you’ve had a prosperous five weeks since you wrote this post. I’m afraid that if my life were as full as yours, I’d probably still be plugging away at the first draft of Brevity. How ever long it takes you, I hope you’re finding some fulfillment in working on your novel. 🙂

    1. Five weeks?! Time flies. I’ve written all of 15 pages for DeCo in that time and little else for any other story. Some days, I wish I could convince myself that writing is unimportant and that I should set aside all of the stories I’ve ever put to paper. That hasn’t worked, but my wishes have slowed down my progress.

      Fulfillment…huh. I think I’ll blog about that next.

      Thank you for your support, Linda!

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