My wife has often told me that one of the fundamental things she understood about me from the time that we were first together was that she knew, in order for me to be happy, I would have to live a life where I was engaged in the act of creation. Early on in our relationship, that involved writing songs and trying to put together a band, but, from the age of twenty-three till the present day, I have happily dedicated myself to the craft of writing.
What a ride it’s been. In 2015, after a year of struggling on a long-abandoned literary novel, I made the transition to writing works of a more, shall we say, fantastical nature. It ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had its fair share of ups and downs. I’ve long been a perfectionist, just as I’ve long understood that my perfectionistic mindset serves as both one of my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses. In order to break free from the rigid writing structure that my perfectionistic mindset often trapped me in, for the first time in my life I allowed myself to work on multiple projects simultaneously, and to set projects aside for long stretches of time if my inspiration waned. This being antithetical to my general modus operandi, I have spent parts of the last six years battling the guilt I felt from leaving certain projects uncompleted. But instead of giving into the guilt and forcing the work, I’ve tried to accept the discomfort while continuing to work on multiple projects with a sense of play. Over time, the multiple projects have come into shape at varying speeds. At no point in my life have I ever accrued such a backlog of creative work.
Last month, I completed the first of my multiple WIPs. It’s a novel, the original side project of all my side projects. I’m proud of it. I don’t know when it will see the light of day, but I’m excited about the prospect of getting it in front of the eyes of some industry folk to see what they make of it. Depending on the outcome, I’ll decide upon the next steps in my writing life.
I have felt for a long time that my decision to work on multiple projects at once may result in my finishing multiple projects close together. But instead of predicting what the future holds, I will simply say for now that I’m happy to have finished one, and I hope in the (near?) future to be able to share some of what I’ve been working on.
Now, back to it….