Here’s a secret about writing which I have discovered – some stories you write will not turn out the way you expected them to because they are meant to be improved and perfected by the future you.
The future you will one day turn the story you are struggling with into something better.
The future you will be able to see why your current thriller isn’t working.
The future you will be better equipped to deal with that troublesome character in your romance novel.
The future you will do big things with that draft book you have just shoved into drawer.
Sometimes we just need to get things down on paper, so that in the future we will have something to mould, sculpt and shape.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to make our stories work right now and if they don’t work today, we quickly shelve them.
We forget that in the future we might be better equipped to tackle our novel writing issues.
My recent attempt at a thriller has brought me to my knees with frustration. It doesn’t sound like the story in my head. I know there is something there but I can’t see it. I thought about ditching it but then I thought to myself – hang on a minute, there is someone who might be able to get this working. She just needs twelve more months of writing every day, reading more books, watching more films and life experience. That person is the future me.
Don’t despair if the sight of your draft novel makes you cry. The future you will be ready and waiting to correct that pile of literary wrongs.
The tricky part with this idea, is working on something, right now, which isn’t making your pulse race. Writing is hard at the best of times, but working on a story which feels like you are wading through mud, well….that can be soul destroying.
Things can get so bad you start considering shelving all your words and starting another story.
In this situation, I ask you to stop for a moment and consider this:
- Your future self will not thank you for giving up like this. They will have nothing to work with.
- How do you know your future self won’t do amazing things with this story?
So, here’s what you do.
Finish difficult draft, add post it note to the front and scribble, ‘Dear Future Me, here’s a little something I made earlier for you, enjoy xxx’
Stick in folder, smile and walk away. The future you will sort that out later.
Look at the future you as an extra writing resource!
Thinking like this has changed my entire outlook on writing. I love the future Lucy Mitchell.
Keep writing and smiling x