Dusting Off


This has been our longest hiatus since The Scriptorium began. If you’ve missed us, we hope you’re happy to see us back; if you’re just finding us, we hope you’ll stay. We’re going to try a bi-monthly publishing schedule while we get back on our feet a little.

Dusting the site off and putting it back to work has me thinking about all the projects that writers start, and that somehow fall by the wayside. I think it happens to most of us from time to time. We’re working on a project, and things are going well, and then–something happens. Maybe a newer, shiner idea lures us away. Maybe we leave it for something more immediately lucrative, or something that has a more imminent deadline. Maybe “real life” calls us away from it. Or maybe we just grow tired of the idea, or bored, or stuck, and we think we’ll set it aside “just for now.”

And then it becomes the file we never open, the notebook we never look at, the website we never visit because we feel so darn guilty. It’s tangible evidence of our failure, our shortcoming, our inability to follow through.


Sometimes there is gold in those discarded projects. Sometimes we have stayed away from them because in our minds, they become a huge problem that we don’t know how to solve. And yet if we haul them out, dust them off, and really take a look–often they are not nearly so daunting as we think. There’s good writing there, or good ideas, or good dialogue, or a character or two who deserve a second chance. Sometimes our subconscious mind has been gnawing away at the problem all this time while the project lies fallow, and suddenly as we read over those half-forgotten pages, the answer is there. The story is good. It works. We know how to finish it, or at least how to pick up the pieces and move forward again.

Here’s a challenge for you: root out an unfinished project that’s been mouldering for a while. Dust it off and take a look at it. You might find something worth a little bit of saving.

Okay, everyone back to work! See you next month!

Comments (1)

In response to September’s editorial…
I have the same problem, Sherry. Always too many works in progress. Two things help me. Think about what you’d do first if you found out you only had a short time to live. Do that. Second, my desk timer is incredibly helpful. Take one project, set the timer for an hour or whatever, and just work on that project. Don’t think about anything else. That way something actually gets done.

I love the new look.

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