Skeleton leaves

Thought I'd update you on my novel-writing thing because my progress is so confusing and non-linear and weird that even I have difficulties grasping what the heck I'm doing.

During the summer I wrote pretty much nothing. Every now and then I'd pick up my novel's first act and work on perfecting the first page and clarify my intention in every scene. Now that I've rewritten the first half of act two I realize I need to add in much more conflict into act one, so this month I'll be rewriting that again... yay.

During the fall I've been rewriting, re-plotting and reworking the entire second act because it was a confusing mush. Now it's even more confusing, but at least it leads pretty smoothly into act three.

I'm trying to come to terms with my inability to write perfection and instead focus on loving the fact that the mess is full of emotion and life.

Creativity shouldn't be constrained. We give our stories all these rules and it's so wrong. It isn't helpful. It breaks us. Slowly but surely.

Truth is creativity isn't pretty. It's not neat or organized or clean. It's a messy, painful, glorious process full of surprises and hurdles along the way.

I feel like social media often paints a false picture of what creating a story is supposed to look like.

People have organized writing spaces and perfect outlines. They never fail writing goals and manage to always get their chapters out before deadlines.

But in reality each story is very different.

You don't have to have everything figured out in order to do this thing. Just be ok being lost sometimes. It's an adventure. Nobody can put your creativity in a box. That goes against everything creativity is all about.

I love pretty photos of laptop screens and floors covered in neatly placed post-it notes. I love office supplies and beautifully worded first drafts and perfect notebook layouts.

But often we feel like we're trying to make lush, colorful autumn forests. And all we get is the skeleton of a leaf.

It's not a perfect process. But if you're so busy creating perfection, you'll miss the point of the whole journey.

The magic. The beauty.

Because aren't colorless skeleton leaves beautiful, too? 🍂

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