I’m discovering that I really love the beginning of things, but hate re-living them. I also look forward to the end though. The middle, well, that’s the toughest part.
Writing the first draught of my latest novel attempt, I was energized with the first few chapters, and quickly jumped to the ending. Actually, I think I wrote my first version of the last pages months before I had decided it could become a genuine story. The first re-read encouraged me, as I thought ‘this is pretty good’. The second, I had my doubts, and now, when I know it practically off by heart, I think the whole thing is rubbish. But I can’t bring myself to re-do it.
It’s not only writing that brings out this side, it’s most things. For example, last weekend we went to the Mournes. The first part of the walk beside the waterfall was great. But then, my legs hated the middle part, and made me stop, leaving everyone else to get to the end. That was frustrating, but inevitable.
Other times, I catch myself wishing the experience was over, and not savouring the present moment at all. Of course, reminiscing and looking at the photographs, I forget I wanted it to end, and think I had quite a nice time. It’s just as well photos don’t have sound, because the real story was packed full of grumbling, and the adult version of ‘are we nearly there yet?’
So, the lesson I have to learn is to stop moaning and wishing things over, and start appreciating the here and now. Without the middle, there actually is no beginning or end. I have to push through plot struggles, physical fatigue and negativity to create anything good. And, only at the end, allow myself to look back, and glory in how far I’ve come. But just for a minute, because pastures new are already calling.