When I think of the word “draft” one meaning with several examples comes to mind. In the form of a noun Merriam and Webster lists 15 definitions for the word but my mind goes to definition 5.c: a preliminary sketch, outline, or version.
Floating in my mind are memories of that preliminary version of a paper that teachers or professors required so they could determine whether or not you were on the right track in your writing or to help prevent extreme procrastination in students. Those “rough drafts” filled with run on sentences, lengthy word combinations to meet word counts and weak thesis statements once reviewed under the scrutiny of a discerning eye were often returned needing corrections. These corrections were usually made within a timely manner and resubmitted by the writer, hoping for the best grade…or at least a passing one.
Next to those are images of pencil sketches from the latest Disney animated features released during my childhood. As an aspiring animator who immediately began sketching the likes of Animaniacs, Tiny Toons and Batman every day after school ,these pre-release drafts and sneak peeks were highlights in my geeky cartoon world. Rough sketches of Aladdin attempting to escape the Cave of Wonders or black and white animations of Belle singing about wanting “adventure in the great wide somewhere” motivated my own artistic efforts.
With the advent of modern technology “drafts” can be found in a variety of social media. For example we can save drafts of emails, text messages, tweets and blog posts of which I realize I have too many. These drafts for me were ways to jot down creative ideas to pursue at a later date. Unfortunately some of those drafts had a short shelf life regarding relevancy but would’ve been cool blog posts or funny tweets. Their time, gone.
In the past hour I’ve drafted at least 10 Theater Therapy posts while discovering five others that were drafted this time last year. The intention was to share my thoughts of a film during the hype of opening weekend. Hollywood press have moved on to the next big hit (or flop). So have moviegoers. Thankfully there will always be someone looking at old blog posts on the world wide web so my drafts are not all for naught. And I certainly need the writing practice.
But these drafts led me to evaluate other things I’ve started and “saved” or pushed to the side. One pursuit in particular is learning to play an instrument. A bit of a science nerd as a youngin’, I liked to explore how things worked. Instruments were included in this fascination. Once I learned how an instrument worked and could play a few tunes I moved on to the next fascination. Unfortunately that has come back to bite me in the tuckus.
As a worship leader, something I never saw myself doing, I now need the skill of being able to sing AND play an instrument. At 31 I wish I’d stuck with the piano playing fascination of my childhood. I wish that fascination had moved beyond the “drafting” phase. Thankfully, it’s not too late…maybe. So for the remainder of the year I’ll work on tickling those ivories and getting more things out of that draft folder.
How about you? What things are you thinking about revisiting? What “drafts” do you need to pull out and finish?