Maggie nuzzled me insistently this morning needing to go outside. I pulled the curtain, then the French door, then the screen (so many obstacles) and felt a cool breeze as she bolted between my legs. I climbed back into bed and realized – happily -for the first time in a long time I woke up without thinking about words and writing.
Five – yes, five – newsletters in three months. Done. Good work. Over. Woke up with no agony regarding word choice, format, delete, add, better quote, word count, word creep, constant-constant revising/ editing and then again - cripes, I can’t talk or write a sentence anymore without this little birdie critic on my shoulder commenting on word choice, style, and delivery destroying fluency, flow, coherence. No wonder so many great writers are insane and mediocre writers are just…well, insanely mediocre.
What I woke up dreaming about this morning was roof construction and a vague awareness of supervising someone else’s work. I might have even had a clipboard. Probably ‘editing’ albeit in a different field – oh the irony! (Geesh, I’m boring even in my dreams.) The subject was likely rooted in my daughter’s joy at finishing her thesis on thatch (roofing) – an intense semester-length research/writing project contributing to her nightmares. And a certain pride in the work accomplished.
There’s a certain OCD quality to being a writer with a perfectionism no one else really cares about…except the writer. The sentence crafted so thoughtfully is discarded as unnecessary or erudite. Please…just a moment for a rant. Everyone’s a critic. Everyone thinks she or he can do it better. Even those who haven’t read a book in years “I’m just so busy,” or wrote a personal letter since six years old when Mom made her “I just prefer cards” and let’s not forget the “I prefer videos” editor. And this really cracks me up: “Let’s do an on-line version because there’s not as much writing involved…” ?????? You’ve got to be kidding me. What are you reading on the e-version? Ink blots? End of rant.
Can I really spend a half-hour on a stupid sentence? I’m sorry to say I can. And sometimes – okay, most times – it’s not even a profound thought or a great sentence. The writing process appears so easy but most writers I meet struggle with a litany of struggles few but writers understand.
So we blog. Unedited. Needing to feed the beast, the wanton urge to put something to a page. Despite all the crap we get from others or ourselves. Despite tortuous assignments and writing nightmares. And sometimes…just sometimes…it feels really great.
Note: Unedited blog entries bear only a teeny-tiny relation to actual writing projects