Friday, January 10, 2014

Even Negative Progress is Progress

So, one cookie recipe was successful (nom, nom) and the other wasn't, resulting in a tin of lovely cookies and a baggie of miscellaneous ingredients that was thrown into the trash. Such is life. I'll need to figure out what wasn't working with the roll-ups and try those again when I've determined that. But the butterscotch stars are actually quite good. Now to start changing the batter so that it's a bit lighter. That's me...never satisfied.

Whoever made these example stars from the cookbook was a bit better at
keeping the shapes regular, but even though my stars may
not be as elegant, they taste really good. 

But I tried a second recipe and threw it away. It made me think. Often we start something and realize after just a few minutes, a few hours, a few days or even longer, that what we started just isn't going to work. It can be something as fast and easy as a recipe, as complex as a relationship, or anything in between. I had no problem realizing that the refrigerator batter wasn't doing what it was supposed to and throwing it out, but it's much harder to do that when you have more invested in a project. Also, you don't want to call a halt to something when you may just be in one of those "ick" passages that we all have to go through.

Every project, short or long, goes through an :ick" factor. 

"Ick" passages are a normal part of creating and often it is where the artist or author wants to just pound their head against a wall and ask themselves once again why they ever started the project. I get to this point with each and every art project that I make and just force myself to push through. Usually I end up pleased with the result and decide that the trials and tribulations were well worth the effort.

Why do we have to go through the uglies to get to the pretties?

I get to this stage with all of my writing also. I'm at that point now with my o-fic and it's driving me crazy. After more than two years of research and more than 120,000 written words, I'm at a point where I'm thinking about shelving it and moving on. That's a decision I won't take lightly, but it's such a big project and I'm just not sure if it will ever really be able to bring the two stories back together. I'm worried about plot holes large enough to drive a truck through, too much telling instead of showing, a tertiary plot line that came in a short time ago that just rings wrong, and other things. I'm questioning my basic premise, the directions that the characters are going, etc., etc., etc. And I also know how I need it to end - but OH...the curves, the twists, the headaches! It's so tempting to put it down and yet...I can't allow myself to do this. I love this book. It may be something that will never be read by anyone other than me, but I love the characters.

My story starts with Mandy seeing the face of a young man
in the window of a derelict house. But it sure takes a long trip
to get back to that point. 

So I'm going to look at where I'm at with my novel as one more "ick" passage and try to push my way through it. I'm going to hope that the editing process, which is where more than half of what I've written will hit the editing room floor and disappear, will actually pull things together and that I will love the end result. But to do that I have to get back into the groove. I think I'll write for a while with my morning coffee today...

Words that can translate to authors and artists as well. 

Have a wonderful Friday!

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