To Craft and Construct

Should you find yourself in a rush to declare something finished, don’t.

Immediacy is a thing in the world right now. It seems many of us want what we want when we want it. Whether we are seeking to replenish a supply of notebooks or, an actual app-loaded notebook, most of what we want, need, or think we do, is a mere click away. Writing materials, new clothing, household items, all of it is ours for the online asking. Order it today, have it by the morning. Quick. Easy.

There is a downside to such constant and immediate accessibility. Writers who get too caught up in this risk losing an edge in terms of maintaining the patience and the fortitude to stick with the demands of the drafting process. As we well know, writing, especially creative writing, doesn’t abide by the rules of click today, here tomorrow.

Quality writing as an end-product requires time, work, and focused effort. Many expect to reach that final draft far sooner than what the writing requires. It is not uncommon for some writers to lose interest or become overwhelmed when they find themselves in the midst of having to craft or reconstruct lines and passages further than they originally thought necessary or possible. Ah, the work, the labor! Right?

This construction period is not easy and demands a consistency in deep focused thought and critical consideration. (Mark Twain wasn’t joking with the words, “I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out.” )

So take heed and don’t shy away from the time and effort required to work through your writing whenever possible. The idea that a first draft is akin to a final draft is a fallacy.

Sure, there are stories regarding a certain poet who allegedly churned out a series of multi-stanza pieces after waking from a deep slumber, (as they say), only to have that first draft version immediately published with everyone lauding that poet’s rich use of language and craft. This happens. There are also tales of poets who allegedly sat down to write one morning and by mid-day had multiple pages of what very well may have been finished, crafted, pieces. These poets in question, no doubt, are either entirely mythological or are especially highly talented, practiced, and consistent in their writing practice. The key words there are #practiced and #consistent. Talent is subjective.

Among those at the top of their writing game, the topic of hours spent working and re-working a phrase, a line, a page, until they are deemed, just right is probably never openly discussed. This “time invested” is viewed as a typical part of the writing process. The message here is that good writing takes time. Taking time requires patience.

Should you find yourself in a rush to declare something finished, don’t. Take the time to offer a second, or third consideration. Consider the writing as being under construction and work accordingly with that mindset. Remember, a first draft is what it is, rough and in need of further work.

Again, all of this takes time. A mindset which recognizes the value of patiently working to ultimately produce writing that is clear, concise, and impactful is realistic. This is when a writer’s abilities to use language to sharpen a line and flesh out a detail are on full display.

The art of cutting excess wording in one line, fleshing out images in another, arranging and re-arranging stanzas and lines may not be appealing to some, but when done well, will ultimately garner respect from your reading audience. As you delve into the nuances of your own writing, notice ways to make the piece more exact in what you intended to communicate. Good writers make this look easy. (This is why it is such a great exercise to study the way writing that speaks to us is constructed and crafted.)

What matters is that you remain committed to giving your drafts time to reach their fullest potential. Afterwards, you can scroll down and click through for a quick fix ordering of whatever household or personal item or necessity you need to replenish or immediately restock. Doing so will ensure that you will not only be keeping up with the ongoing cadences of online ordering, but also that your writing will be progressing nicely as well.

Keep at it. As always, may the Muses be with you.

~Judith Lagana