I find myself staring, defocused, at a shortcut on my desktop. Surely I’m meant to click on it, tap my desk impatiently as I wait for the folder to open, and eagerly jump into my latest writing project. Tap, tap, tap. No, not today, it seems.
I’ve never noticed the irony of this shortcut’s name until I spent a good ten minutes fixated on it just now. It’s called Shortcut to Writing, the folder I keep all my writing in. This tiny yellow rectangle of pixels has become the virtual keeper of all my dreams, and storage to my half-baked short stories, novel first draft, novella, other novel outlines, play scripts, character sketches, the occasional computer game concept and poorly named notepad waffling in sub-folders each called New Folder. The projects may be diverse, but they are all genetically related. Apart from inheriting my yuck grammar, most of them are inflicted with a congenital defect - stunted development.
As I muster up the focus and drive to continue editing through my fourth or fifth draft of my novella, Infected, I’m faced with the reality that despite what the pixels tell me, there is no Shortcut to Writing.
I close my eyes, and I remember what drove me to write this story. I recall how the characters begged to come to life and told me insights about humanity I felt I couldn‘t possibly know on my own. As other writers have experienced, a story bubbled so quickly to the surface of my mind, in all its intricacy and connectedness, that I couldn’t type the paragraphs fast enough.
I think of the people who’ve read it so far and have pushed me to keep at it. I humbly admit I now smile at the memories of their encouraging words even more gratefully than I smiled in their moments, when I was riding the wave of my own motivation, too. You know who you are, and I send you a super-sized thank you!
Okay, that’s enough waffle from me [tap, tap, tap] I’ve got some editing to do!