Today I finished my second edition pass on my NANOWRIMO novel Johnson Farm. The first time it went from 238 pages to 247 and grew by 2000 words. At the end of the second pass it has shrunk back to 238 pages and it is 1500 words shorter than the original first draft. This wasn’t just verbal wondering, both steps had to happen for the novel to work the way I want it to.
The same thing applies in almost everything we do. We have to make choices, the best choices we can. Sometimes the choice isn’t all that happy, or nice, but we still have to make it. We have to make the best choice we can even when the options suck.
The key to this, the way we make the best choice, is to know our goals and values. We need to be honest with our selves about what we want and what the outcome of our choice will be. When we do that we can make the best possible choice.
Sure, I could leave that little gem of prose in the novel. But, it slows down a scene that I want to be fast paced. Sure, I could ignore that little detail. But, does ignoring it cause a problem later. Sure I could leave out that bit of exposition. But will that confuse the reader?
The same thing applies in real life (gasp!) outside of fiction. Sure, I could return that phone call right away. But somebody just ticked me off. I might want to calm down a little first. Sure, I could ignore the call completely. But what if ignoring it fouls up one of my own projects?
No, this isn’t easy. In the last 24 hours I’ve had to make choices about my novel (a work of love); my chainmail book (which is hopefully funding another project); a training course I’m planning (which isn’t quite ready but needs to go now); and going to visit my mother (who slipped into a coma yesterday). None of it was easy. But, if you know your goals and values; if you can make a reasonable guess at the results of your choice; you can make the best choice possible.
Sometimes it’s making the best of a bad situation. Sometimes it’s making good better. Either way be honest with yourself. Be true to who you are and what you believe; then the choice you make is the best one you can make. Then it is the right choice for you and your situation. No one can take that from you.
That’s it for today dear reader. Until next time…
Well… That’s up to you!