Early Drafts, The Journeyman and Our Need for Praise…

The decision to write is a brave choice we make each time we bring pen to paper or place our fingers upon the computer keys and type.

To be sure, very few do it. And of those, even less follow their hearts’ desires with an understanding and commitment to see to the end what we have started.

It is one thing to write; yet another to go back over and over working to reshape and polish the initial words we have written. Writing our thoughts, bringing the ideas of our imagination into sentences if but one half the challenge.

The other involves examining the whole of what we have written, then identifying, and teasing out the story that lay in the initial creation. The act of writing the first draft, though daunting, is not sufficient to label a story.

The story is a journey.

Completing the entire length requires thought and pondering, traversing the terrain of subsequent drafts during which we almost always discover a story we never realized existed, and embedded in the inspiration of the initial idea that compelled us to write.

Omitting this latter part of the journey, more possibly the middle if we divide the process into 3 acts not unlike a story or novel, is tantamount to taking out a newborn for public display without having bathed the infant, nor having swaddled and clothed it for protection.

Making public raw, unexamined works of fiction, the answers to our minds’ ponderings can leave a writer exposed and damaged.

The same advice offered to those beginning to write, “Protect your work. Don’t show your writing too soon. Take care to whom you reveal your words,” provide wisdom for seasoned writers regarding our unrevised or unexamined and unprocessed creations.

Our eagerness to have others read, and respond kindly and positively to early drafts of our stories, whether we are a novice or fairly seasoned at writing can reflect many things, the least of which is praise and approval says many things we should examine.
Perhaps we need to know that we have gained a good understanding of the basic rules of craft regarding writing, structure and organization.

On another level we may be seeking to learn how to recognize quality writing and through comprehension of that how to achieve it.

And yet the desire and need to know that someone likes our work can and does cut many ways.
Should they like it we are encouraged to continue writing as we have been. Should they not appear excited, the possibility that we will alter our style looms.

And while there is always room for improvement regarding one’s writing, making changes based on another person’s likes and dislikes does not provide a sound basis for learning to trust and developing faith in what is coming through us and the best way to render it to paper.

Writers must never cease to learn. And yet we must become dogged about protecting what we write from the inner critic, ours, and those residing in others.

The best of writing stirs us, sometimes to joy, at others towards anxiety.

Our goal is to learn to the basics of writing and to forever continue sharpening and honing our ability to utilize those and the rules of writing to achieve our purpose, that of telling our stories in the most engaging, entertaining and efficient manner possible.

To be certain this is a task, one never fully mastered nor achieved.

After that we must exhibit caution in seeking out the approval of others, even ourselves.

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on July 12, 2010.

2 Responses to “Early Drafts, The Journeyman and Our Need for Praise…”

  1. Anjuelle, I must say i’m at awe with what I just read. great pointers it really has me thinking as I’m about to expose my first book works. Thanks for the pointers and keep DOK, “DROPPING OFF KNOWLEDGE”.

    • So glad you found this post helpful and not proselytizing.
      Our work, our writing is so very special; it is a part of us.
      We must, we owe it to ourselves and the work we have put into our stories to protect them.
      Protecting them from unsympathetic eyes and minds in these early stages is not simply about keeping our writing safe and holding it special, but protecting ourselves.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.
      And please sign up @ Friendfeed (http://friendfeed.com/anjuelle) to receive my posts.
      Again I appreciate your support.

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