I’ve been letting my latest project lie for over a week. It was becoming too much of a struggle. My writing suffers when it’s not flowing, so I needed to let it stew for a while. Then yesterday an idea for the resolution scene started taking shape. I had no time to sit and write yesterday, so I let it play out in my head. Bad idea. Now it’s lost.
I write scenes constantly in my head. I love doing it. It puts me to sleep when I’m ruminating, it makes long train trips fun. It’s like living a thousand lives in one – it’s great. But once I’ve written it in my head, that scene will never live on paper. It wouldn’t have lived on paper anyway unless I sat down right at that minute and captured it. Even if I’d stopped myself indulging, it would have turned out differently when I sat down to write it. But there’s still a sadness about seeing the scene in my mind once and knowing I won’t capture that exact scene (which I remember being pretty darn good).
I often surprise myself with how different things turn out when I sit down to actually write them. It’s not worse, just different. And I always mourn the ephemeral scenes.