The Queen of Drafts

I spend most of my time daydreaming or thinking about things, in fact, most of my pieces have come from daydreams or thoughts I’ve had over my morning cup of tea. The only issue is after spending that fleeting moment wrapped up in picturing this piece taking shape, letting my thoughts run away from me, I spend the moments after that writing countless drafts as I try to remember how my thoughts worded it.

Often when I first think of something I want to write about, I have the idea mapped out in my head. I have already written the idea down in my head but before I stop to think about writing everything down, the thought has already slipped away.

By then, all I have left is, normally, one word about what I wanted to write about, or if I remember part of a line or even a whole line, I write those down as well; and, as I’ve previously said, I leave it on my to-do list for a while; before guiltily deciding that maybe it is time to cross some ideas off my list.

As I’ve come to learn, however, is that I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing. I lavish over my ideas when they’re new, but as for my old ideas, I don’t seem to have the time nor patience for them.

I stare at my to-do list with some annoyance because it’s not that I look at it and don’t think there’s potential; I have faith in my ideas becoming a good piece if I paid them more attention. But one or two lines or a one word description  for a whole piece is not enough context to leave yourself.

The only way that I can think to describe it is that it’s like trying to create a finished jigsaw picture, but only having one piece to create said picture.

It’s frustrating to not remember exactly how I had mapped this idea in my mind, or in what context I meant that line. So I save drafts with partially completed pieces, with the full intention of returning and completing them, as soon as I remember what it was I wanted to say.

In an ideal world, I should put more thought into planning and structuring my pieces or if I can’t remember what it was that I wanted to say, either cut the idea loose or create something completely new with that idea.

I do idle over whether it’s just best to abandon my idea to-do list altogether as it just makes me question myself as a writer by showing me all the ideas I’ve thought about yet failed to create. But when I’ve cast an idea off, I seem to spot that idea in someone else’s work but with a different style, shape and words.

It’s disheartening to think that you wrote an idea off, gave up on the potential, on the opportunity to throw your two cents into the mix, to present that idea from a different perspective. It’s not that someone had the same idea as you, but more the regret of what could have been.

It makes me question, am I regretting what could be with these drafts that I keep promising to finish, yet fail to find the right words?

I think I need to embrace that what I think yesterday isn’t always what I’ll say or think today.

But more importantly, I need to stop feeling worried over treading eggshells by finishing these drafts. I’m not interrupting my flow, maybe I’m just finding it?

Perhaps, what pieces I’m creating today were what I wanted to say all along? Either way, I won’t know until I’ve finished a piece, and by then I can move onto another project anyway.

To be finished?!

– E



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