Have you ever lost your way?
Lost your vision?
Lost your purpose?
As you know, I’ve been working on Heather Girl for a while now, taking my time, letting the story unfold gently, getting to know the characters. I’m about two-thirds through. I’ve passed the dreaded middle section and should be cruising to the finish line.
And yet, as I stare at the computer screen, I wonder if it’s all been a wasted effort. Sure, I’ve written a scene or two that I’m fond of, but I worry that there’s not enough story. Maybe I should just trash it all.
So I went back to the beginning. To that first sentence I wrote. The first paragraph. The first chapter.
I met Heather all over again.
And I remembered.
I remembered why I started this in the first place. Remembered why I like her. Remembered why I have to tell her story, from beginning to end.
I wonder if this technique might work for other art forms.
I can see an artist, not sure where a painting is going, looking back at the first sketch in the notebook that inspired the painting. Or a musician, caught up in working out the third verse, going back to that first phrase, or that first chord progression that got her started. Even the runner, working through an injury, finding joy in just running a mile again.
It helps to remember why you’re doing something in the first place.