The Weekly Re-Motivator: The Anchor

So, you’re a writer.

And you have this project.

It’s a project that you’ve had for months, or maybe even years. It’s a project you return to time and time again, when inspiration for other work deserts you or when a bolt from the blue strikes and you just have to, have to, go work on that project again. Maybe it’s your first project, maybe it’s your latest one, maybe it’s a project you started and forgot about and go back to every few months. When your mind goes blank, inevitably your thoughts turn to that one project, and even if you’re not actively working on it, your brain is always bent toward it.

This project is the anchor.


Like a security blanket, you need this project. It comforts you in times of need, it fills you with nostalgia; even just opening the file (or turning the pages, or unrolling the parchment you scribed it onto, you insane purist) makes you smile. Like a true anchor, this project keeps you moored. Keeps you grounded. Keeps you from getting off course, keeps you true to yourself — or at least true to the self you were when you started the project. Without the anchor project, you wouldn’t be the writer that you are, you wouldn’t write the way you do.

The anchor project is a good thing.

But the anchor project can’t stay forever.

Like a security blanket, it works wonders for you for a while, but eventually, you start to outgrow it. People stare if you’re still dragging it around in public. It gets threadbare and worn-out, and not even functional for its original purpose beyond a point. Like a true anchor, well, it keeps you from drifting off during the storm, but it also keeps you from letting down the sails and exploring the ocean.

Comes a time when you have to cut the anchor loose, when you have to accept the fact that you’ve outgrown it and move on. When you have to drop the anchor and sail out into the wild blue. When you realize that the anchor is not the project that needs your time, your effort, your constant thought anymore.

Accidentally Inspired has been my anchor project since I was in college, which is to say, for about fifteen years. The idea was born in a scriptwriting class in 2002, I expanded it into a full-length play by 2004, when it actually saw production with my old high school. Then I mothballed it for almost a decade, though I always hung onto the idea of turning it into a novel, and there it nested in the depths of my brain, ripening on the vine.

Well, I’ve followed through on that seed of an idea, finally. I wrote the novel. I’ve revised and edited it through several iterations. I’m working on one last edit now.

And somewhere along the road in this last edit, I realized it’s time to cut this anchor loose.

I love this project. I always will. but the longer I keep reworking it, the more I’m neglecting other stories I want to tell, the more I give in to the fear of putting it out there and letting it walk on its own, like a wobbly-kneed colt.

I’ve got about one more month left in this phase of the work, and then it’s time to pull up roots and let this puppy go.

Bittersweet, to be sure, but the time is right. It’s time to move on.

Am I alone in this, or is there an anchor holding you back, too?

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.

10 thoughts on “The Weekly Re-Motivator: The Anchor

  1. Can totally relate. I’ve had my anchor for about 40 years. I feel like time is running out for me so I’ve made a commitment to finish it this year. Why is it that when we really want to do something we let everything else get in our way?
    Thanks for inspiring me to keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah…. I’ve still got my anchor. It existed in a younger form in high school. Now I’ve rejigged it and am working on it, still. It *is* the one that makes me “go back to”/ not stop writing if I tried, because it is a whole universe inside my head….
    It’ll be released one day, once I’ve finished work on it. Also, it’s more than one book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting. I think about mine in almost the exact opposite way: the blog is where I go off the reservation and give vent to whatever lunacy is crashing around in my head, while the novel is where I stay focused.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, but I expect you are a writer-y type who already had written stuff and wanted somewhere to play.
        I hadn’t written a single word of anything in the thirty years since I left school, until I started my blog on a whim and got instantly hooked. I have no other outlet or platform, so literally everything I’ve ever written (all on my phone) is contained on my blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Four years, nearly 500 posts, animation, mixing, music, video editing, photography, everything, all on my phone, including building and administering all three blogs.

        I don’t own a computer. I started on my phone and I’m stubborn, I like the challenge of working round any limitations and I’ve done pretty well so far. ;~}


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