We all have them–that folderful of ideas for stories we’d write some day if we could only find the time, the unfinished novels just sitting in our hard drive (or drawers) we will get back to once the muse revisits us. We could grow old and die waiting for that day to come. After all, isn’t it so much easier to curl up in bed with our smartphones and tabs or do a marathon of that favorite TV show? We certainly find the time for those.
Time passes by. Nostalgia hits and you have a look at that folder, to see what could’ve been and what could still be. Alas, you realize that the world has moved on and your characters haven’t. You’ve failed them and they no longer have a place in this new world. But it’s all right, you say. It’s not totally a lost cause. A few changes here and there should make everything right. But it doesn’t, not really. You’re back to square one as you realize it’s no longer the same story and characters you loved and imagined. Perhaps that’s for the best, perhaps it is not. Maybe you decide to surge forward this time. What does it matter if you’ll run out of plot by page twenty? Maybe you decide to let it sit again, working out the story in your head before you can find the courage to go on. How long must your story and characters have to wait?
We can only procrastinate for so long before we run out of time. Novels don’t get written in a day, not even a week (unless you are a really, really fast typist and is all-sorts of brilliant). If you’re lucky, you’ll have a good and well-polished manuscript in a matter of a few months but more likely, one would need to invest years. I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is, are we content to simply have a folder full of ideas, or would we rather have those ideas come to life, if not for others, then for ourselves, at least?