“Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.'”
-Jef I. Richards
It has been nearly one month since I put words down on my story. I have tons of excuses, I don’t like any of them. It is true that we are harder on ourselves than on others. Except critics of course, when you’re occupation is based around telling people exactly how they are doing under the delusion of bettering an industry as a whole, only to find out the collective masses don’t give a damn what you think, I imagine you end up rather bitter.
According to Mister Richards, up there, I would wager that ‘writing’ falls somewhere in between ‘art’ and ‘advertising.’ I know that I have a quasi planning scheme that doesn’t get fully fleshed out until the very end of the first draft. I only know this from assignments in English Lit. However, for myself, once the story is in place rewrites are minimal.
I gave myself a deadline for finishing this story, not because I have a publisher or agent that is demanding it. I haven’t even got an audience to satiate, yet. The reason for it is simply that I work better with a looming deadline. The problem with making it myself? I know it’s soft, mutable, and I can change it when I want, choose, or need.
I’m one of those that work best when I’ve procrastinated as long as I can, then try to fit in all the work in the smallest time frame before it is due. Many people with creative, less structured, minds probably describe themselves in this way. You probably knew someone like me in high school. You would turn to ask me for help on an assignment and I would probably respond with “I dunno” or “I’m not sure what the teacher wants from this assignment.” Then come the day we get the assignment handed back, graded, I would have an ‘A’ and you would have something like a ‘C+,’ then you would give me a disgusted look. Just so you know, on the day you asked that question I honestly had no idea what I was doing, but the day before we handed it in I read all the material and notes I mindlessly jotted down to catch myself up. After all that, I opened a word processor, typed some ‘B+’ material, then went back and followed all the rules of the English language that we learned to this point, argued with spell check, and click print.
I’m not going to apologize for getting a better grade. I put in the work, I just waited until Thursday night at 5:00 pm to start. I also knew, even then, that you have to engage the reader to sell a story, and everything is a story just waiting to be told. Except technical documents, that writing is meant to be dryer than a crouton in a fat free salad.
Now that I’m done with this distraction, the next distraction is my day job, maybe after that I’ll open up my story, read what I have down so far, and continue. Maybe not; but, as long as there is a tomorrow, I will continue.
I’m also still looking for feedback on The Return Of the Cult, not to mention needing to finish that story, but the conclusion is coming dramatically (sacrificial pun for the internet deities) sooner than my other story.