Not in my writing projects. Although I have changed the opening of my memoir, My Mother’s Money—or Almost an Heiress—6 times. (I’m still shuffling the pages back and forth between two sections, weighing which one has the stronger hook.)
I’m talking about the many times in the past two and a half years that I’ve changed direction.
My false starts are the results of exploring how I want to spend my time, earn money, and fulfill my creative urges and talents. If a project doesn’t work out, I have to file away the remnants of my failure, grieve and regroup, then start all over on something else. These wasted efforts cost time, money, and patience—besides the fact that they’re pretty exhausting.
When I left my full-time job as a marketing communications director in 2008, I took on freelance work related to that profession. But I quickly realized it didn’t interest me anymore.
I love and collect art, so I decided to teach others how they could own affordable original art. I visited museums and galleries, and contacted artists to feature their work on the blog I began on the subject. I put out money, but couldn’t figure out how to bring in money at this work. (I considered becoming an art consultant, but realized I wouldn’t relish working with indecisive clients nervous about spending money on art, and on my services.)
There might have been another effort after that, but fortunately for my self-esteem, I can’t remember what it was.
Then, I had an idea. I would teach writing. I would write a book on writing. I did both, and then began coaching other writers and editing their work. This all feels right, thank goodness, because I couldn’t stomach the need to start all over again.
Leave a comment about what interferes with your writing—or about your false starts—to win a free download of Polish and Publish: The Indispensable Toolkit for Creative Writers.