There are several pieces of writing advice that I find myself returning to again and again, and this quote from Annie Dillard is something I’ve been reminding myself of lately.
One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book, give it, give it all, give it now…Some more will arrive for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.
–Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
When I’m juggling partial drafts of many different stories, or staring at a raft of old manuscripts I still hope to sell, it’s tempting to just keep plowing ahead on each piece of work. Breaking new ground, over and over again.
But sometimes, that one great scene from a different story can be just the catalyst I need for THIS story NOW.
Use it. Move it. Trust the process. More ideas will come…