Sunday, August 30, 2020

Knowing When to Pull the Plug

 I had a conversation with a writer friend a few nights ago. She's struggling with a manuscript she's working on and we got to reminiscing about those manuscripts we've written and then shoved under the bed, never to see the light of day. Sometimes you know within the first couple chapters that this was a bad idea, or sometimes it's the same story that you have written six ways to Sunday but it's never quite good enough. Regardless of when it happens, there's always a point in the story when a writer stops and says to herself, "Do I go on with this or not?" 

I've been putting off writing my latest story idea, too. The premise is there, and I love the idea. I just don't know if I'm going to be able to pull it off. If I pull the plug before doing little more than starting, I'll never know. I can keep ignoring it, but every morning, it's there, on my desktop, a fairly empty file folder, waiting for me to do something with it or throw it under the bed. Next week, I promise, I'll get back on it...

I am reminded of when I was little and I had a bad dream, which I swear to this day was real. My hand had fallen over the side of the bed in my sleep, and someone underneath the bed was trying to pull me out of my bed and underneath with them.

I fought like hell, and for years afterward could not walk to the side of the bed and crawl in. No, I had to take a leap from across the room and land on the mattress. It's taken me years to not be afraid of what's under the bed. Except now I know there can't be any bad folks under there, just bad ideas.

How about you? What's under your bed?

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