In my job, ‘getting it out the door’ means the point at which a piece of writing or print has to be signed off and ready for the printers. There is usually a tension between trying to get it spot on and good enough, in the meantime the deadline nears until there is no more time available.
In my own creative work it’s much harder to apply this principle. The fun bit was writing the novel, editing is a long process – you upset one part of the plot and you have to excavate around it. Keeping at it is taxing and at times I lose momentum, but I wouldn’t want to send the precious thing out under-dressed. It deserves the best attention it can get when I do finally wave goodbye and send off its first three chapters to the literary agents.
People advise getting work published in magazines in order to build a name for oneself so you have a track record. But I’ve got into a habit of not sending things out. I complete something and move onto the next bit of writing, rather than risk being rejected, or exposed.
|Luna Park, Melbourne|
The more writing I do on the ‘Screw work let’s play challenge’ the more I want to share. Being creative makes me feel truly alive. And maybe it’s a numbers game – in the last year I’ve only entered two competitions. As a strategist I could do better!
So, instead of carrying on with the same patterns I aim to put some fun back into the process and send stuff out and see what happens. As George Bernard Shaw said, ‘Try again, fail more, fail better’. But hopefully I won’t be failing.
In the spirit of trying not to be perfectionist I’ve recorded a draft of a story I wrote today. It’s a 20 minute piece and I can think of a million ways to improve it. But for now, here it is. A start.
Short Story: Conceive