Paving the road

For the past 10 years I’ve been writing a novel off and on, and now is the time to get it done.

When I couldn’t find a writing buddy to establish a writing habit with I began teaching. In each session I would write with the group mostly writing toward my novel in an unplanned way to just get it down and get it out. That worked for creating content but not for finishing the task.

Of all the writing I’ve done over the years toward this I have written approximately 20 000 words that I could use so far, of these I’ll most likely throw away up to a quarter. Writing is after all knowing which words to keep and largely about writing down words then throwing them away to craft a piece with the best that you have, much like carving a sculpture from marble. Words are the raw material, they are beautiful with qualities all their own, but we can’t use them all, some must be thrown away.

Writing toward my WIP (work in progress) in this way has not served the purpose that I hoped for; I have not finished my novel and I’ve had more than enough time to do it. What I have achieved though is a great amount of insight and experience into the value of the creative process. With this I’ve guided many budding writers toward their goal and now it’s time to heed my own advice, take my own medicine, and practice what I preach.

Listening to the words that came out as I talked story, writing and literary devices in my classes I often thought – Hey, I should do that too!

So here I am to do the work and get it done. Now rather than paving the road for others then sitting on the footpath as they pass by, I will take the journey along the road of creativity for myself, all the way to the end.

I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, 1920

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