Maya Angelou famously said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
I’ve been feeling this agony a lot lately. I simply have too many ideas and must often decide what’s worth putting on paper and what isn’t. After finishing Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, I’m especially aware of the fact that I can’t and won’t ever manifest all of these ideas. Therefore, the decision of which ideas I spend my time on becomes infinitely more difficult.
The process makes this difficult as well, as I can’t simply churn out a story in one sitting (see my gradual disillusionment with Kerouac). Stories come in pieces, little bits at a time that need to be assembled as they’re generated. This is the purpose of revision. Revision is nothing more than the assembling of various parts of a story.
Stories come in pieces and have to be assembled. This is the process. This is the work.