Problem perspective

Moulding the life we want is not always simple. First, we have to figure out where we want to go. That can be difficult enough. Then we have to figure out the path needed to get there. There might be several and we might need to switch between them. Then we have to build up the courage to take that path. This can be the most difficult step. To successfully navigate this process we must look at aspects and avenues of life from a perspective where there is a solution.

Two years ago I made the decision that I wanted to finish writing a novel. It began as writing the diary for my D&D character’s adventure with his companions. As I got further into writing the diary, the enjoyment I gained gave me the kick I needed to believe I could put the time and effort in to make it possible. Now, two years down the line, I have a completed manuscript, and I am moving towards other steps to further this journey. I’ve realised I also want to publish this book so others can read it. If I wanted to do that right now I could find a way, but feel that would be putting the cart before the horse. My manuscript requires tender love and care—and copious amounts ruthless revision—to mould it into a more complete story. Only then will I feel confident enough to submit to to an editor for scrutiny, and after that, to publishers. It is a continuing process, and I’m finding problem after problem as I go. But, I am also learning more and more about the process, and how to put this into practice, as I go. The path towards publishing this book is naturally changing and I am finding it might not even be the first book I publish. There are many problems which need solving within its pages, and if I want to do due diligence to solving them, it will require a lot of time. Time I look forward to spending, but other books may well be finished between now and then.

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Alongside editing this book I continue to write short stories, some of which I enter into competitions. I am also researching and planning a number of other books, some set in the same fantasy world, others completely different ones. Every time I push the thoughts of self doubt aside, pick up a pen and just write, I get closer to my goal. Every time I think critically about a problem I’m having with a story, or better yet talk through it with someone, I am actively improving my ability to write and edit stories. It may not seem like it when I hit a roadblock I can’t solve right then and there, but I am. Every obstacle is the opportunity to hone my skills, to fine tune my ability of finding the needle in the haystack. Not by waiting for the idea that is a gem, but by improving my craft so I can create the gem. When that will be, I’ll just have to keep writing to find out.

It can be tempting to completely throw away an idea when we come up against a problem we can’t solve. As Stephen King has said, maybe the idea is too big for us at that moment. And you know, I think that’s true. Sometimes the solution we find won’t be for the problem we’re working on right then. Sometimes it won’t be us that finds a particular solution, and some won’t even be found in our lifetime, but we can help move things in the right direction.

Thank you for reading. Know that you have the courage to pursue even the most difficult solutions.

Cover photo by Axel Vandenhirtz from Pexels.


13 thoughts on “Problem perspective

  1. Stuart Danker says:

    Congrats on reaching your goals! As someone who’d procrastinated on his first novel for eight years, I can totally relate with finally getting that danged manuscript done. Wishing you all the best with your authorly pursuits!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you. 😊 This manuscript was easier to finish than the others I’ve started because it was already split upinto sections. Being based on a D&D adventure I played in, the bulk of the scenes were already in place. Now I have to mould it into one beautiful seamless story that I know it can be.

      How are you getting on with your own writing at the moment?


  2. AP2 says:

    “Sometimes the solution we find won’t be for the problem we’re working on right then. Sometimes it won’t be us that finds a particular solution, and some won’t even be found in our lifetime, but we can help move things in the right direction.” Lovely words as always Hamish. It’s the moving forward that’s most important. The goal just gives you something to shoot toward. All the best with the rest of your book! 🙏

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you. 😊 I’m often guilty of wanting to find the solution right now. In terms of this book I want it to be throughout edited and available for others to read now. For the moment it is vetter to put my nose to the grindstone and be happy with the finished product, than rush just to get something published.

      Thanks again. I appreciate the encouragement. ☀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you for your encouragement. 😊 Manuscript done, yes. Necessary heavy-handed editing and publishing to come!

      Plenty of ideas for other books to write too – some already started!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sundaram Chauhan says:

    “Not by waiting for the idea that is a gem, but by improving my craft so I can create the gem.” A statement that I try to live by, every day.
    Felt like a heartfelt discussion with a friend who’s pursuing the same goals. Encouraging and motivational Hamish. You will achieve it all, I’m sure. 🤜🤛🤘👍


    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you for your kind words, my friend. Reading your stories encourages me to keep working on my craft, especially the implementation of unexpected twists!

      Not every idea will be a good one. And the good ones require hard work to turn into great ones. 🤜🤛😎

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sundaram Chauhan says:

        Absolutely… and to reach to the good ones, we’ll have to dig through the bad ones first and that too with the best of our capabilities. Then only the treasure reveals itself in the form of understanding. Keep at it brother. Always a pleasure reading your honest posts. :))

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Yeah, my dad and I had that thought too! A sci-fi theme runs through quite a few of the stories so maybe there’s something in that.

      Wise words as always Cheryl. 😊 At the moment I’m editing one scene of my manuscript a day, and taking my time with it. The thorough edit will happen when I take some time off work in January. Even have the ideas for the second and third books to form a trilogy!

      Liked by 1 person

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