This morning I woke up before the sun. Early bird catches the worm and all that. I hit the mats and did some pilates/yoga shoving my body past the breaking point and into severe pain. I really shouldn't have shredded it with Jillian (Biggest Loser) last night... But with the temperature creeping into the 80s for the first time since I don't even recall when, I couldn't help but be in a state of bliss. Originally, I planned to walk through the park, play with my kids on the swings and gyms, maybe go for a jog, but those plans were dashed when two of my three woke up sick. No matter, retail therapy was next on my list anyway. So, one romance book book later, I was home- not reading. Instead, I decided to clean out the files piling up on my PC. My goal? To start tackling my vast collection of unfinished novels.
I think I've mentioned this before, getting rid of your deformed little love child is not the way to go. For those who don't know me, I am a bit of a pack rat. That holds true even for my laptop. I keep everything. Even the simplest line or chapter or idea. You never know when it might come in handy. Fact is, you wrote it for a reason. So it doesn't work now with this particular story. You may be able to work it in somewhere else down the line. Why am I telling you this again? Ah, yes. Never delete, just shift.
I can't tell you the treasures I found! No, seriously, I can't tell you. You might steal it. Okay, that was harsh, I didn't mean it (I totally did). Anyway. From outlines to chapter starts to endings--even a story I don't remember starting hidden in a "outline" doc. I found a little of everything. I can't believe it! So, back to the no deleting just shifting...
Apparently, somewhere along the line as I was writing a story (way way back when) I had "deleted" and entire ending, not confident enough in the ending created to keep it, but not entirely convinced that it should be scrapped either. I decided, enough is enough with this not finishing what I started, I'm starting to feel like I'm neglecting my children here! So, I opened that sucker up and got to working on the who, what, when, where, why's of it all and discovered, this ending works. What was I thinking! I smooshed those docs back together better than all the kings men put together and voila! story complete. Maybe. That depends on if I want it to be done. Which I do. Either way, I am feeling accomplished tonight and pretty darn justified in my pack rat ways.
Sometimes, all you need is some distance to see the full picture. I get discouraged just like everybody else and I get down on myself and doubt my own abilities often. What matters is that I never give up on myself. I may put some distance between me and my projects from time to time, yes, but I always come back stronger than the last. I try to bring new things, new experiences and knowledge to the table and become better with age, like a fine wine. All I can say is, never give up and always have confidence in your abilities. And when you find yourself lacking, give yourself the time to discover how wrong you were. You are better and more capable than you give yourself credit for. And most importantly, don't get rid of anything! That's your creative genius you were thinking about throwing away. Embrace it.