My short term goal is/has been to complete a preliminary outline and then spend some hard earned money and have a Professional look at what has been done.
Being published is not a goal, completing is the goal.
So I am going to engage a writing coach for some brutal evaluation. Well, hopefully not brutal. The problem that I have found with critiques is that friends are almost always too kind, or don’t have the expertise. People who have the expertise and work for free… you get what you pay for. There are some rare examples that I have found of people with expertise, and who are friends.
The best analogy that I can come up with is getting a massage, no not that kind of massage. I want a deep tissue massage and I am only able to get that from a professional. I have friends that do massage therapy, they will on occasion give out a free massage. But it is rare, it is their livelihood. Besides who wants to work on their time off?
That chain of thinking lead me to seeking a professional. This is progress, I realized after I booked the appointment. Progress in that I have completed enough work to get an evaluation. It was a surprise to me that I have gotten that far. The progress has not been by long sessions of brilliance (trust me, this is not brilliant work), but by short sessions of just working through the process. What has been great, is seeing how the ideas transform in front of my eyes. Problems that didn’t seem solvable, resolving. Vague, misty characters all of sudden, clear, sharp – alive.
Very, Very, Interesting to look back and see the transformation.
But progress is more that checking off items on a list, the more important part of this bit of progress is that I think it will be possible to finish the novel. I had doubts if I could finish, but I now I see it possible to complete. As with all endeavors, regular commitment to the process yields results.
Progress has also brought another interesting side effect, happiness. Even typing the word happiness seems odd, old fashioned, cliched. But that is the honest fact. I am attributing this to the “Honeymoon Effect” of a new hobby. I think though there is relationship between the micro rewards that gamers receive when playing games and completing parts of the novel process.
Checking items off a list is good for you. Just like completing the quests in video games, or the level in Facebook games. That little zap of happiness, of feeling good. Completing a job.
In today’s modern age we get very little of the completing of a job, even less do we get the “job well done” which is very important to our self worth. To make progress in writing is rewarding, and identifying that small micro rewards are good for your health, your mental health; that would make writing a prescription for health. The corollary is: you can be the medicine for someone you work with, tell them that they do a good job. Most of them do.
Remember, that we all need to make progress.
As Always – be well