Killing One’s Darlings or Uphill all the Way

Over Christmas, a writer whose blog I follow wrote of ‘killing his darlings.’ It was moving in a disturbing sort of way. The ‘darlings’ were of course his own creation, his words, 60,000 of them. The decision to abort  after investment of time and energy, to say nothing of creative juices, because they were troublesome and he had grown tired of their company, a bold and decisive move, right  at the time.

I know what 60,000 words feels like, their gestation, tricky and slippery, delivery as likely the same, and that gnawing doubt they don’t deserve to see the light of day.  So much easier/ better to kick them into touch, give up altogether.   But, after so long, they have taken on a life and characters of their own. I can’t do it, not now, not yet, not while there are still hopes and dreams and breath left to finish the race.

I know  the power of a good night’s sleep, or the fillip of being shortlisted, even if only to finish also-ran, just to keep on keeping on till the next hurdle/ slap on the back.

Obstinacy, pig headedness, or simply self justification?  Time will tell.

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