There are a lot of reasons why I’m struggling so much to get invested in revision. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks talking about these potential reasons, so I won’t list them here.
But I thought of a new one—a lack of focus.
The issue is that while I know I should be working on revising my last project, instead all I want to do is think of new projects. A large part of this is because I haven’t had success in designing a new project that I will actually write, which makes me very concerned about my future creativity and thus puts more pressure and confusion on my one successful project. It may also be because thinking up new projects is more fun than tearing apart old ones (in the desire to make it better, of course, but it’s still a different kind of work than raw and open creation).
I’ve always wondered if I could possibly work on more than one project at a time. I’m thinking now that I can’t. My mind is simply too divided, and the time I have to devote to creative endeavors seems to drift towards only whatever new project I’m attempting at the moment.
The solution would seem to be to refocus my attentions on the original project and on its revision, thinking and daydreaming only about that. However, I seem stubbornly unwilling to do so. I want to keep thinking up new projects until I find something that will actually work. The fact that I’m struggling so much to do so makes me anxious, which in turn makes me more unwilling to work on revision, which then makes me more desperate for something else to work on lest all of my creative ambitions leach away.
So I’m going to give myself a week or two to focus on new projects, guilt-free. And then, no matter what, I will focus myself entirely on revision, on the one project, on rewriting that. If I have no other projects in mind, and indeed, sometimes a question of whether I’ll ever have another project, I still have to focus only on the one, at least for a solid second draft.
I don’t know why the first draft came and went so easily, and revision is being so elusive. I don’t know why that one project made it, and I have completely fallen back into my old unproductive patterns. I don’t know whether any other project will ever make it, too. And I don’t know what that means for any potential career.
But… that’s what creativity is sometimes. Uncertainty and fear and trying things and failing and trying again. You just keep trying different things.