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.
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.