Writing–Getting Through It To Get To the Next

A trash can

I started writing a short story for my possible short story anthology. The idea came from my idea notebook and it seemed like a pretty good idea.

Until I started writing it.

Once I put down the first couple of sentences, I knew this story was a straight-up dud.

But I kept working on it until I found an ending. It came in at less than 1,000 words, but I was still able to call it done and that’s all that mattered to me.

I guess it sounds like a waste of time to finish a story that I know isn’t worth the ink I used writing it, but that’s just how I am. I’m a bit of a pack-rat. I don’t like to throw things away because I never know when I’ll need them. The same can be said of stories. Even if I have no faith in it while writing it, even if I know from the start that it’s a dud, I’ll go ahead and see it through, just in case. For all I know, I might be able to do something with it later. I might come along the spark that it’s missing. Well, if I come along that spark, but I don’t have a story to go with it, what kind of a waste is that?

So, I finish those stories that end up getting typed up and put away, just in case.

It’s not really wasted time for me. It’s a good exercise in perseverance in a way. I stuck with it until the bitter end and now I have something -something horribly crappy, usually- finished. It’s a test of how motivated I am as a writer. Can I finish this piece of garbage before I move on to work on something I really want to write? Something that usually pops into my head while I’m slaving away on the current piece of dreck haunting my life.

In the beginning, I would have just ditched it. I ditched a lot of things when I was younger because I wasn’t a writer then. Well, I wouldn’t call myself one. I’ve always been a writer, but before I admitted to myself and the world that I was a writer, things got left unfinished.

That doesn’t happen anymore.

Now I finish one thing just so I can move on to the next.

That’s what writers do.

Well, at least this one does.

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