Claire King

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You can’t get there from here…

Posted on: May 13th, 2010 by Claire - 4 Comments

One of the axioms I use frequently in my day job (helping people collaborate to achieve their goals) is this:

“You can’t get there from here, but you can get here from there.”

What it suggests is that if you want the future to be a certain way, you have to picture yourself already there, and then work out how you got there from where you are now. Until you have that vision crystallised, until you can feel and smell and touch and taste your future…your path is foggy and directionless. Until you have anticipated the obstacles that lie between you and what you want, and have thought of a plan to overcome them, then you risk getting derailed at the first sign of trouble.

I fell off horses a lot when I was a child, because I was planning on being an olympic show-jumper one day. These days it’s a fabulous book deal I’m picturing in my future… OK, so I don’t have a crystal ball, and we all know the odds are slim, but trying is fun (if sometimes painful) and even if you don’t quite hit the exact goal you’d pictured*, I think you manage to get much further towards it than if you’d never built that beautiful future vision.

For me it’s the same with my writing. I almost always have to start by writing the end. I need to know and feel where I’m going with the story. It’s the feet touching moondust, looking back at a tiny earth. It’s the point to which everything leads. And I can’t get there from here. I have to get here from there.

Of course other writers do it completely differently. Many start at the very beginning and write in a linear way, seeing where it takes them.

Are you for visions, serendipity or a bit of both?

(*I did pretty well in riding competitions but never became an olympic show-jumper)

4 Responses

  1. Charlie says:

    Some of us, I guess, are only able to understand the process – the instructions, if you will – once the little red wagon has been put together.

    🙂

    We both got here, after all, but with completely different outlooks.

  2. D.J.Kirkby says:

    That first paragraph made my brain ache 🙂 but once I had figured out what you meant it did make a lot of sense. I begin writing with an ending in mind but the finished result is rarely what I had envisaged.

  3. claire says:

    Oh dear, sorry I made your brain ache! Hope I got better at blogging over the last year 😉

  4. claire says:

    Happy Birthday little blog. 1 Today!

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