You’re Not All That Brilliant After All

When it comes to writing advice, over and over, we are given the adage that writing is hard. Anyone can have a book idea, but few people can make a story. Few people can weave a plot, create character arcs, and do it all in a compelling manner.

For me, writing is easy. I click open a word document or stare at a blank sheet of paper and all these scenes just pour from my mind. Oftentimes, my fingers can’t keep up. This is the part that I love. That feeling, that energy, that creation… it’s why I love to write. And I do love it. I love plotting, I love building characters, I love when my scenes become a chapter or my chapters become a draft. I love watching the word count tick upwards.

The part that is hard isn’t the writing, it’s the rewriting. It’s the revisions. I wouldn’t call myself a new writer, because I’ve always written, but I am a new novelist. For the first time in my life I’m looking for that finished product, that complete story. I’ve got three…wait… four drafts printed and ringed in binders all waiting patiently for me to define their muscles and slip on their skins.

Give me a blank fucking screen any day. Maybe it’s all the things that I have learned this year about writing, most of which have made my writing better. But I get in my own head now when I look at my written work. When I start slashing every was, realized, felt.  I get to about chapter three with my red pen and highlighter and that beautiful feeling I had when I created it sinks. There’s a moment you’re looking down at all your slashes, rephrases, notes, and repetitive words and you realize, you’re not that brilliant after all.

I wish this was one of those “this is how I made it” posts, but alas, it isn’t. This is me asking, how the hell do you get through revisions? What is your balance? I need to complete my novels; I have to find a way to get through this painful period in my journey to become a novelist. Success, to me, would be finishing my novels/novellas.  But I need to preserve my love for it along the way.

My novels are like little cranky teenagers right now, testing my dedication. I know they need my love and dedication to grow, but right now, they’re grounded so I don’t smack/rip them. It’s been an embarrassing amount of time since I’ve done anything more than minor plotting on them.

What’s your secret? And, yes, I’m talking to you Mika! Congratulations, by the way. ❤

Writing is easy, revision is hard. I can’t even think about the bitch editing is going to be.

I guess that’s the most challenging part of this journey: learning to balance what you love with what you don’t, take advice with a grain of salt and find your own way, and reconcile your vision with the red slashes on the paper.

On a lighter note, I think the title of this post will be the title of my memoir if I ever write one.

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