Monday, July 20, 2009

Going Live

The United States Hunter Jumper Association Trainer Certification Program is now officially accepting applications. What a great group of people they were to work with! I was honored to be involved in the project and to have the opportunity work with so many giants in the hunter / jumper world during its creation.

It's always bittersweet when a major project gets published or goes live. Most of my work on the phase of the USHJA TCP that just rolled out at the end of June was finished over a year ago. The phase that has yet to be presented to the public occupied much of 2008 and the beginning of 2009. And I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the graphics, design, and layout people still worked around the clock to get the project done on deadline.

The project in question was equivalent in scope to several books. It took two years of my time... It had been in development for years before I came on board. It is something of which I am very proud to have been able to make my meager contribution.

But there is no time to sit on one's laurels or to pat on the back those involved in the project's completion. I'm under contract to work on other writing projects. Shelley Campf, the astoundingly capable TCP Committee Chair, and Melanie Fransen, the tireless USHJA Director of Programs & Education, have multiple irons in their respective fires -- as do the scores of trainers and other experts who worked to make the project a reality.

And so a project goes live... or a film gets released... or a book is in print -- and it happens on a day that goes on like any other day.

Fortunately, it is not the end product that motivates us writers. Rather, it is the challenges and the joys of creation that drive us to our keyboards every day. Yes, it can be gratifying to hold a book in my hand and know that I had something to do with its existence. But, in many ways, it is the actual wrestling with the words on the page when the ideas are alive and new -- fresh but not fully formed -- that is most rewarding.

Right now, Ryan's manuscript is in the editing phase. I am currently waging war with the words, forcing each one to convince me that it deserves to stay. Most are putting up solid arguments. Some, however, are revealing themselves for impostors and space-wasters. These must go.

This is the stage at which a project is most real to me. Sometimes during the writing phase, the book or screenplay is amorphous and unformed. It doesn't yet exist. After the edit, it is out of my hands -- like a child that has left home and ventured into the world on its own.

So, while we work on our Next Great Thing, the rest of the world awaits our Latest and Greatest. All we can do is our best, and hope that the work we've put into a project now, during its creation, shows up then, during its consumption... Whenever that might be.