Last September, I wrote about what it means for me to be a patchwork wordsmith. As I continue my journey as a writer, and as Vitae draws nearer to being ready for publication, I am realizing what a tremendous blessing being a patchwork writer can be.
I have a trove of work on my hard drive that is nearly-finished, not-nearly-finished, never-will-be-finished, and just about everything else under the sun. That isn’t to say by any means that what I started was bad. There is a number of reasons for not finishing a project. A prime example is Vitae, which was initially conceived many years ago and is just now being finished. I wasn’t ready to explore it then, and I don’t think it would have been anywhere near as good had I done so.
There was a brief exchange on Twitter last week within the Writing Community. Someone asked whether she should, now that she feels that she no longer wants to follow through with her current project, delete the work. Most of the answers she received were variations of a resounding NO – do NOT delete the work because you never know when you’ll be able to use it or when the feelings behind the urge to write it might return. I feel that is absolutely correct and it’s a mindset that has served me very well.
I incorporated some aspects of a short story I wrote years ago into Duality. Those features didn’t work for the story I initially wrote but were perfect for what I wanted Duality to become. Guess what? Duality won an award. Would Duality be as good of a novel without those parts I patched in? I can honestly say NO.
As a writer, you know your work. You also know your vision for a particular project you’re working on. Saving tidbits of writing (even that which you might feel at the time is just utter crap) to weave into a larger project later on can be a very satisfying experience. For me, it was like having a puzzle that, when using the pieces it came with, could paint a satisfying landscape…but, once you add in a few pieces that fit slightly differently but work even better…
Or maybe that’s just me…
In the meantime, I’m getting back to writing my novel. There will also be an announcement coming soon about Vitae, so be sure to stop back in to check for that and to look through my archives in case you missed anything…or just want to see how this crazy journey has gone over the last couple of years.
Oh, one last thing: Even though I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo this year (because I’m still working on Vitae), I thought you might like to know that my 2018 NaNoWriMo project will be the novel I’m publishing at the end of 2020.