Thursday, March 29, 2012

Plodding on

I like to do small things. Doing a big thing is more impressive; more worthy of a blog post, certainly. But if I do a little thing every day it soon adds up to a lot more. For example, I think it'd be better to journal just a little every day than to write ten pages in a go on occasion. A habit of creativity is going to add up to a lot more progress than a whole day at the easel every few months.

A few times in the past, I have written hard-out for a month and finished a novel draft, but at the moment I'm trying to plod away at a more maintainable pace for a lot longer than month. It is harder work. It is less thrilling. It is less disruptive to the rest of my life and I don't get to be a martyr for art or anything so dramatic and exciting. I reward myself with usually edible treats and well-earned naps. The next day, or several days later, I open that document and try not to read over any more than one paragraph, inevitably edit a few typos and grammatical errors, then plod on, hoping to God that there are fewer errors in all the other paragraphs I didn't just read over.

It's slow going, and six weeks from now I won't be fine-tuning my query letter to literary agents or editors. Six months from now I'll probably be reading over a drafted manuscript, horrified at the sheer quantity of inconsistencies in tense.

(I am finding it hard to keep it in the past tense while I maintain this candid, chatty 1st person narrative - something new to me. I usually stick with 3rd person voice - simpler to keep grammatically in-check, but harder to convey so much of character...)

This morning I went out on the patio to water my Basil plant (which is faring better than any other non-cactus I've ever owned) and noticed that the tree outside has burst to life. When we moved in, less than six weeks ago, it looked like a dead twig of a thing. But it was just plodding away, behind the scenes, getting ready to bud. And now...

So here's hoping for some of that bright green life-spark, creatively, in the long run. Meanwhile, on I plod.

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