Is any writing wasted? I’ve spent a lot of time and effort over the past few days trying turn an idea into a short story. It began well, on Friday, with the germ of the idea and an opening line. It was the sort of story I was sure I could sell to a magazine. On Saturday I spent the morning working on it in some detail over a large café latte or two in a coffee bar in Broadstairs. I completely rewrote in yesterday, after a day’s reflection, and improved the opening line and beefed up the ending. But today I can see it just doesn’t work. The whole story is based on an idea that seemed brilliant on Friday but that now seems a bit dull. I feel I’ve been wasting my time working on it.
But really I don’t think any writing is a waste. The struggles I’ve had over the past few days trying to convey a certain emotion, or sketch out a sense of time and place, have if nothing else been good mental exercise. There’s an analogy to be drawn with running, but I’m constantly boring people with my running analogies so I won’t labour the point. Other than to say that I feel I’m in a more fit state to tackle my next writing project.
It’s not rubbish. It’s an investment . . .