Hold on for dear life.

The night of our first date, I watched for him out my bedroom window. He parked on the street which was silvery with earlier rain. A couple house down, he crossed the street at an angle, his long coat making him look far more romantic and heroic than he could ever possibly be. The coat may have been what doomed me to stay with him longer than anyone with sense would have. As if I kept thinking I would find that man somewhere in the relationship if I just tried harder.

I wonder if a detail, a scene, in my writing enchants me so much that I have no perspective on its true potential. I have several manuscripts and can’t give up on any of them–but they can’t really all be worth the time.

What projects do you stick with no matter what? What lost causes do you hold onto?

8 thoughts on “Hold on for dear life.

  1. I’m still sticking with my first manuscript, even though it may not be the best one to go forward with toward publication. For some reason, I can’t let it go, give up on it.

  2. I’ve had boyfriends for that reason, too. I sometimes wonder if others saw something in me that wasn’t true, and how that must have disappointed them.

    As far as other areas of life go, I tend to cling to everything until it decays under me. Writing has never felt that way, though. I cling to it, but it always feels lively. I’ve clung to stories for too long, but I kind of think you never know it was too long until you’ve already let them go.

    1. Well, I’m sure I disappointed him and I have no idea what he saw in me. Not attractiveness that was clear.

      And you’re right about never knowing. Maybe sometimes it is just too hard to even admit.

  3. The difference is – that boy appealed to a younger you, one with less perspective. The writer you may be enchanted with certain scenes, but I’m sure they’re very different reasons than whatever attracted you to the boy. You are older now, wiser and more experienced. If you feel compelled to hang on to a scene, your writerly instinct knows there’s a very good reason.

  4. Darn, I remember that coat — I always wished I’d be the kind of guy it would work for. Actually the whole catalogue was (still is) like that, with the clothes draped over perfectly-proportioned invisible men and women.

    I do have little bits of things I cling to, at least in early drafts. I can’t bring myself to murder them all, though; I copy them into a file called something like CUTS before actually pulling the trigger. Of course, the irony would be if a future literary anthropologist compared the CUTS to the finished work, and said the CUTS were better. šŸ™‚

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