Timelines for me as a writer are a funny thing. I can say that I will finish something, or post something at a certain time. But whether it’ll actually happen how I want it to, even how I predict it to, seems to be entirely up to the wind.
I’m live with a mind that can’t think of a single thing to do at one moment, and have a staggering number of things to do Right Now at the next. Then of course the next step is picking which thing, which usually involves several hours of contemplation and finally going to bed, having done none of the things.
In my making and projects, I can be stumped with a problem that ends up having a simple solution. But that simple solution takes a couple weeks of dreading having to make a decision, having to go on with a less than optimal solution, or having to carry out the original solution (which is usually not the way it should be done.)
The way I plot my stories is generally an act of zooming in on the story and loading more and more detail as I go. Sometimes the idea stays fuzzy for weeks before clearing up.
In the meantime, time passes, chores and work have to be done, appointments, exhaustion, and taking in others’ stories.
The time I spend on each project sitting down and actually getting it done is probably average. But the time between each session of sitting down is days, weeks, or months. Some of that between time is also working on the project in the background. Watching how other people problem solve, finding new ways to research my project, even remembering at odd moments that I haven’t gotten to a solution and wincing for a moment that it still hasn’t arrived.
It’s never as hard as it seems to sit down and finally do it, once the gestating time, and the must-be-dedicated-to-other-things time is done. But trying to start at any point before that seems impossible.
These aren’t things that are mine alone, or of any special flavor, or unique anti-talent.
Writing involves incredibly long timelines, before and after the adventure of publishing starts (so I hear). There are many strings of life that demand to be followed all at once and some skip around or get hung up in a tree like a doomed kite. Projects too, and they take longer when learning how to do them.
But I’m hoping that learning to recognize, to understand, and notice that, will make it easier to bear the immense scale and long timelines that go into my creations. To build reserves in my perseverance and resilience.
Especially around the time when it’s all about finishing touches and new beginnings.