Searching for Artifacts
While drinking a lot of coffee…
Finishing this last draft was interesting. After an estimated 1,642 cups of coffee, when I got to the last word of the last page, I stopped for a second and tried to take in everything I’d done over the last year and a half. It’s not like I shed tears of joy or relief. I just kinda took it in.
I want to say I just feel proud of the accomplishment. And I do. I can say with complete honesty that I held nothing back and did literally everything I could to do the story justice. But I also see areas I fell short in. I still have room to grow. I need to take the lessons learned and apply them to another story; to start this process over from scratch and attempt to bring something else to life.
Creating is weird. I’ve been doing my best to learn from those further down the path. Something that seems to be a recurring theme is that creators aren’t entirely sure where the idea comes from. It’s easier to describe it as the story comes through us rather than from us. I’ve read it being described as stumbling upon an artifact in the dirt, and it’s the creator’s job to uncover it.
Now I’m at the point where I sent it out for beta reader feedback. I was more nervous about this than I thought I’d be. Because now it’s time for proof that I did my job right. Did I do the story justice, or did I muddy it up and do it a disservice? But that’s part of it - it needs to be proven. And then it’s my job to fix it again where I can, clarify intent, and give it a nice polish before I call it completed.
In a way, I feel like I’m back out in the wilderness, searching around for a rock. It’s a scary feeling. I’m kicking ideas around, hoping that I find one that has some depth to it. I’m looking for an artifact to uncover, not a stone to skip across a pond. But in searching, I’m not guaranteed anything. I just have to keep looking and trust the process.