I thought you could use this idiom/expression when you started a project over. For instance, I have finished my first book, and it is out (“Echoes From the Heart-Nine Short Stories”/Amazon.com) and I am ready to start the next book, a novel this time. The first one went well and I started with the short stories to get my feet wet. But now I am going to jump right in and write 80,000 words for a novel, and I thought I could say I was going back to the drawing board. But that is the wrong term for me to use.
What happens when you go back to the drawing board is that the project has failed, synonymous with “back to square one”. I would need to start my original book over from scratch because it has failed. But, I do not need to start over. I will start over in the sense of writing another book, start the process over, but with a new idea, new characters, new settings, new everything. It’s just the process that I will be starting over. A writer starts over every time one piece is complete and the next one starts. So it is with nearly everyone who creates. Yet nothing has failed. So, I was wrong, I can not use “back to the drawing board.” Or let’s say, I shouldn’t use the term.
The expression/idiom did not even exist until a cartoonist, Peter Arno, had his cartoon with a caption that read “Well, back to the drawing board” printed in the New Yorker Magazine in 1941. The cartoon showed a designer leaving a crash scene with rolled up plans under his arm. It depicted both failure (the crash) and starting over.
I searched and searched to find if this idiom could be used in my sense of the phrase — to start again, but to no avail. It is not a new beginning because I have learned a lot from producing “Echoes From the Heart”. I definitely do not want to wipe the slate clean, although I have erased the titles of the short stories from my white board and the hard copies of the stories have been filed away; I reiterate, I learned a lot from producing the book. And I do not need to start from scratch even though I will be creating an entirely different scenario with different characters; I reiterate, I learned a lot from writing and self publishing the short stories.
So, what do I say. I guess it will be short and sweet. I am organizing and readying my life to do it again — and maybe it is wrong to say that I am going back to the drawing board, but for me, that is where I am headed. And, oh my, I have so many ideas floating around my head. I may have to concentrate on one, but then work on others so I do not lose the scenes that filter in and out of my mind.
Maybe I should say, I am excited, I am going to do it again. I am going to repeat my first action. I am, I am, I am…back to the drawing board????
Have a good one…