How big is it? Will it ever see the light of day? Do you feel worthy enough to be its creator? How long are you going to hoard it all to yourself in the dank caverns of your ‘unfinished’ works like Gollum and his precious ring?
Writers, I’m talking about that ONE story that’s been festering in your head for decades. Maybe it was your first, or your twentieth, but it’s the one that you feel the most attached to and most protective of. The one that you’re beyond certain would be an international best seller if only someone like J.K. Rowling penned it, instead. And so you sit on it, leave it on the back burner while teeter-tottering whether or not you’ll ever actually put all of the effort into seeing it published.
Maybe, it’s the one you regret never finishing but have come to the conclusion that you just don’t have it in you anymore to do so. Maybe, you’ve taken the advice that not all books should be published to heart, despite having the inability to trash it. Oh, it’s still there. Every freaking scrap of paper you ever wrote notes about it on, every document related to it taking up space on your hard drive. You’ve moved it a dozen times already, both in boxes and digitally from computer to computer…yeah, I know you have. The entire evolution of that story can be traced all the way back to the beginning, it would just take days to piece all of the notebooks/pages/documents/napkins together to prove it.
How many times do you go back and read it? How many drafts have you created trying to revise it, using all of the knowledge and experience you’ve gained over your writing career to turn it into the masterpiece you’ve always envisioned?
Why are you still unhappy with it?
I’ll tell you. Because it’s your precious, your baby, the one you have dedicated so many hours, emotions, ideas, brilliant moments of creation to, and the one that you held to such high standards, they’ve become unreachable now–and I know this because mine started at age 17 with a simple idea.
That “idea” has since grown into a Tolkienesque catastrophe of details, lands, languages, characters, back stories, side stories – I actually have one completed novel and another that is about 85% completed and they’re not even the beginning – they’re about times, events, and characters that happen hundreds of years AFTER the beginning and the worst part – they’re both over 100,000 words in length! I have an actual filing cabinet filled with handwritten segments, notes, glossaries, character lists, you name it – multiple files saved in Dropbox and if I were to quit my job today and dedicate all of my time to only writing these books, they would still take me years to finish – and then I can’t even promise I’d be happy enough with them to hit publish.
Because, it’s that one story I’ve never felt worthy enough to write. That I imagine Peter Jackson would turn into a blockbuster in a heartbeat, if only I wasn’t the author. And I honestly can’t say why, just that it’s my one…my first, and definitely my most ambitious story of all time. I’m not 100% sure that it will never see the light of day, though. There’s no finality, only wishy-washiness over it, so for now – just putting it out there that if you have your own preciousss – you’re not alone, Gollumses.
Hopefully, I’m not alone, either LOL – so how ’bout it? Ready to dig up the old works and dust them off, give them a new polish or read over? Are you really so sure that you don’t have a hidden gem lurking in all those files just waiting for you to remember it’s there?
❤ Food for thought, writers! Enjoy your Hump Day! 😉