Friday, May 14, 2010

Start Over



If you've started out in pursuit of your goal
And you've really tried with your heart and your soul,
but somehow things got out of control---
START OVER.

When you've tried your best to do what you should
And you thought this time that you surely would,
But once again, you didn't do good---
START OVER.

When you've tried so hard to yourself to be true
And do the things that you know you should do,
But once again you failed to come through---
START OVER.

When the road to success seemed much too long
And each temptation was oh, so strong
And once again you gave in to wrong---
START OVER.

When you've told your friends what you planned to do
And trusted them to help you through
But soon discovered it's up to you---
START OVER.

When you know you must be physically fit,
But your hope seems gone and you're stuck in a pit
That's not the time for you to quit---
START OVER.

To start again means a victory's been won
And starting over again means a race well run
And starting over again proves it can be done
So don't just sit there---
START OVER
~ Author Unknown


Never be afraid to start over, because that is where perseverance begins.

Have you ever scrapped part or all of what you've written and started over?

57 comments:

laurel said...

Hmm. I know I've definitely done this with my muddled middle--tossed five chapters and completely and rewritten from scratch and it was the right move.

Tere Kirkland said...

Yup.

It's called a second draft. ;)

Candyland said...

Four times. Looking for the strength to start over, again.

Dawn Embers said...

In the overall sense, the second draft is pretty much a start over. Same idea and characters but third person with more stuff involved. I haven't done what my writing twin did and just plain start over because it wasn't working even if she was close to finishing the first draft. I, so far, finish the first draft then worry about starting over.

On non-writing goals, I have started over before. Weight loss goals in particular, have involved startovers and fixing goals when the initial ones aren't met. But I'm not giving up, so I think that's the good part.

Write Chick said...

Thanks for popping over to my blog. I love the poem.
I am currently cutting/splicing/rearranging my whole manuscript and so much of it is JUNK!
But that's okay, garbage should be thrown away.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, more times than I want to admit. All the time. Every time. Writing is hard. But I can do hard things.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Amen to that :)

Happy weekend!

Janet Johnson said...

Boy, Tere hit it on the head . . . 2nd draft. Ug.

Christina Lee said...

Um, I really needed this today!! THANKS!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Oh, I do this - I'm great at starting over!

Susanne Drazic said...

Thanks for sharing the poem. I'm really good at starting over. Do it all the time, especially when it comes to trying to lose weight. UGH!

Portia said...

Oh yes! I've even ditched a whole book that I just couldn't find the passion to fix. Starting over sometimes feels great because it feels productive!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes--and it almost killed me to do it. LOL!

But sometimes it's a neccessary evil.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Definitely. I'm on draft 15. FIFTEEN! So...yeah!

Laura Marcella said...

I agree with Tere! My WiPs look so different with each draft. And that's a good thing!

Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!!!

Jennie Englund said...

Just the other day, my writing partner and I were talking about whether we have any ties to our work.

I don't.

I know that every draft is better than the next. Throwing out scenes, chapters, or even whole manuscripts is no big deal to me.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Yes. Sometimes it feels like a constant restart, just in different places.

salarsenッ said...

Seriously, that made me tear-up. Not the poem, your sentence. That IS where perseverance begins...and continues to grow until you reach a goal. Could have been the one you set or could be one you don't see right now.

Thank you, Shannon. Enjoy your weekend too.
Sheri~

Carolyn V. said...

Shannon! Perfect post! Yes, I've had to start over on a wip. Plus I've even thrown a few away (Okay, I just hid them in the "to be never read" file, because it was just too painful to throw them out!)

Lisa K. said...

Absolutely! Sometimes, particularly with a short story, I start over again and again until I get the voice of the story just right.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Yes I have. Sometimes starting over is very necessary. Especially with me. lol.

Great post!

Jackee said...

Great poem, Shannon!

And yes I have once: on my first novel. My practice novel. I still think there's something there. But it's going to take a THIRD start over to amount to something.

Have a great weekend!

T. Anne said...

Oh gosh yes. I think I've done it a million times and i've hated it each time. It's part of being an author though and it doesn't feel good at the time but it's for the better.

Charity Bradford said...

Tere Kirkland said exactly what I was thinking!

Jewel/Pink Ink said...

Great poem, Shannon.

Yes! I don't know how many times I have started over. Sometimes I even feel excited about the new story. :-)

Lydia Kang said...

I've never completely started over. I usually recycle, a LOT. Although I might do this with an old MS that I never got pubbed.
Thanks for posting about my contest!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Yes. I've done that more times than I want to admit. But at least I keep trying. :)

Southpaw said...

uh, yeah! :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Yes I have! Putting aside the one I just wrote to start over now:)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I have put stories aside and come back to them and made huge changes...hopefully for the better.

Helen Ginger said...

Very good advice. You don't really lose until you give up. The better path, as you said, is Start Over.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Susan R. Mills said...

During my revisions, I kept trying to keep some of what I had, but time after time, chapter after chapter, I had to scrap what I had and START OVER! It's a beautiful concept.

Shelley Sly said...

Love the poem. I've certainly scrapped scenes and drafts and entire manuscripts. I just decided this past week to shelf a project I've been working on for years and start over with something completely different. Sometimes we need to do that. The new thing we start might be even better than what we were working on. :)

Aubrie said...

This is so true for me! I'm working on my fourth WIP. You have to be persistent these days!

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Shannon...yes. Unfortunately. Or fortunately? For me, it really has to do with where I'm at in my personal life. It sounds like such a cop out, but things have to be right there before I can tackle a new project, and if things there go a little haywire, I can't always stay the course. By the time I go back to pick up where I left off, the energy is gone. It's a frustrating feeling, but somehow, I'm trying to learn to be okay with these stops and starts, to accept them as a part of my oftentimes slightly haphazard life. I'm trying to appreciate the journey -- all of it. Some days that's easier than others. I appreciate the reminder that starting over is okay and sometimes necessary.

Eric W. Trant said...

Cormac McCarthy sold his typewriter for an insane amount of money.

"I've written more than five million words on that thing," he said.

And if you count up the number of words in his 10 published books and his other works, you get to maybe 500k words, a million at the most.

And he hasn't used that typewriter since the 70s.

In other words, GOOD writers throw away about 10 words for every word they publish.

So if you are NOT scrapping words, you're doing it wrong.

See?

I'll scrap 3 to 5 time the words I finish with. My first book was 120k words, and I cut it to 75kw, and that was after I threw away at least another 100kw.

Short stories... don't get me started. I usually throw away the whole dang thing three or four times.

- Eric

Creepy Query Girl said...

Great words. I could almost hear it as a song. Yes, I've had to start over in various aspects of my life and to tell the truth- there's something liberating about just letting everything fall and taking off hands empty.

Creepy Query Girl said...

PS- thanks for linking my contest! You're awesome!

Shannon said...

Excellent reminder! :) Thank you for posting this Shannon!

Have a great weekend.

Tabitha Bird said...

YEEEEAAAAH!

Love it! :)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Something tells me that I am going to chuck my manuscript and start afresh. Will keep you in the loop.

Victoria Dixon said...

WAAAYYYY too many times to really think about. LOL I agree, it's called a second and sometimes a third or thirteenth draft. ;D

Shannon, you won a copy of Under Heaven! Please send me your address at Victoria_Dixon[at]msn.com and I'll get it to you!

Jessica Nelson said...

Great post! No, I haven't scrapped anything yet, but maybe someday I will. Or maybe if an editor/agent loves my story, I might need to scrap stuff for them? Who knows.
:-)

I'm glad to hear you're getting close!

Heather said...

Oh my goodness, I've started over so many times I can't even count! I'm rewriting a book later this year that I've completely rewritten twice, done minor rewrites on I don't know how many times, and now I'm doing a complete rewrite again. This time I'm determined to get it right!

Myrna Foster said...

Yes, and I'm usually happy with the results. Good luck!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Starting over can be SO scary--but it's such a great feeling when you let yourself do it! Loved this =)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, Shannon, I love this poem. Thanks for putting it here today.

Yes, I've started over many times on writing projects. We can learn a lot from knowing what doesn't work.

Happy Weekend,
Jen
Audience of ONE

Solvang Sherrie said...

Oh, yes!! But at least when you start over, you have a better idea of where you're going and what you want to write.

Lisa and Laura said...

I LOVE this! We've started over so many times I've lost count. And it's not always easy, but we've never once regretted it.

CMOM Productions said...

Sometimes that's all we can do! :) I love this!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Oh yes, definitely! In fact, my current WIP is actually 10 years old, and getting a huge re-write. I still have all the old stuff, but I've started over with a different time, different timeline, some different character names that I think fit the "world" better, and . . . well, it's a definite Start Over/Do Over type project.

Mark Anthony said...

Replace [start over] with [you're a writer] and this song was written for me. Great blog ~

Jojomama said...

Doh...starting over...It's called rewrites. I hope the agent appreciates them too! (=
http://jostorm.blogspot.com/

Susan Fields said...

Often. After I got the critiques of my first draft of my current wip at Christmastime, I had to scrap entire chapters and events. It was tough, but I finally finished the rewrite last night - hooray!

Alexia561 said...

Excellent advice! I always find such helpful advice and tidbits on your blog, so please keep them coming!

Stop by when you have a minute, as I have an award for you on my blog. :)

Natalie said...

Oh Yeah. I scrapped the first 8000 words on my current WIP. It was hard, but necessary. Sometimes starting over is the only way to get it right.

Theresa Milstein said...

There are two manuscripts that need so much rewriting, if/when I tackle them I'll basically be starting over. Until this year, I wouldn't have been able to make the needed cuts.

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