I have many files in my computer filled with work I started, but have not finished. I often go back to them looking for that new perspective to give them life. I won’t abandon them because I believe the ideas are too compelling to let go; there is something worth fighting for.
There are many pieces we start and abandon, but sometimes an idea comes along that is so fascinating it must be written, no matter how arduous the task. These are the stories that linger in our minds, in our dreams, in our notebook and in our computers, for weeks, months, perhaps years; they are the stories that will exasperate us but we continue to go back to them, working through them because this is the story worth building.
One short story took me five years to complete. I struggled with it, but I never abandoned it; I returned to it again and again, because I knew it was a good concept, and no matter how difficult it became, I had faith that one day I would complete it. I wasn’t sure what form it would take; it began as an idea for a novel, but in the end, it found its place as a short story. I returned to it over the years, brainstorming, re-writing and editing, until one day, I had a finished piece. It felt like an amazing accomplishment. I submitted it and it was published. In the end, all that hard work and frustration had paid off.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes to write a story; even if you don’t know the form it will take yet, trust that time and perseverance will lead you down the right path; the work will prevail.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.