Writing on writing

When is re-writing not re-writing?

Every how-to book on writing says it: writing is re-writing. Meaning the real art is in the revisions. Writing folklore abounds with the mythology of the masterpiece that flows in perfect form from the nib of the pen and that was a huge mental hurdle for me for ages. I figured the fact it didn’t flow like that for me meant I had no talent.

I take comfort from the idea that all writing requires editing and revision. These are skills I can develop. There are classes I can attend, books I can read.

I posted here that I finished the first draft (rough draft + one rewrite) in September 2014. I knew at the time that I need to re-write it. It is nearly 9 months later. I could have produced an actual human child in that time but I have not re-written the draft. I am genuinely shocked that this has happened. I set aside time for writing…how has this happened?

It's the cat's fault I haven't done my re-write
It’s the cat’s fault I haven’t done my re-write

On reflection:
– reading about re-writing is not re-writing
– attending classes on re-writing is not re-writing
– thinking about re-writing is not re-writing
– writing in my journal is not re-writing
– sitting on the couch tweeting and watching TV while surrounded by notebooks is not re-writing
– carrying the manuscript everywhere and never looking at it is not re-writing
– tidying up the office and rearranging the spare stationary is not re-writing

Oh, goddammit, blogging about re-writing is not re-writing either. I think I have a problem.

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One thought on “When is re-writing not re-writing?

  1. I find the editing the hardest part of story writing. By the time I’ve read my story ten times and corrected the mistakes, I start to dislike it and find serious flaws … So I feel your pain. I too am struggling at the moment – I’m working on a synopsis and no matter how many times I write it, I still don’t like it …

    Good luck with your story x

    Like

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