“Writing strikes fear into the hearts of everyone because writing is sticking your neck out, taking a chance and exposing your thoughts and feelings to the world.” Janet G. Balfour in A Basic Study of Writing
So. True. But then, anything worthwhile involves sticking ones neck, doesn’t it? The revision process, on the other hand, is a nice reprieve from all of that. You can stay comfortably in your turtle shell, away from prying eyes and enjoy the cleverness of your exhaustive efforts. Until, that is, the reality check of first readers and editors yank off those rose-tinted shades and shine some real light on your project. Ouch!
I’m taking my time with the revisions of Anywhere But Here. It needs to settle for a bit, and I need to catch up on my reading. Lots of reading; the reading-for-writing, kind of reading. Reading that will inspire ruthless, bold revisions rather than the gutless, delicate type I usually prefer when I first get started.
What I am doing differently with the process this time, is that I’m practicing my writing skills by beginning a new project. I don’t want to lose that creative edge by immersing myself solely in the wordsmithing and slashing that is revision, for an entire year.
The working title of this new WIP is simply, The Story, which sounds exceptionally boring. It’s not. It scares me. Mostly because it has haunted me for so long. The voice never stops. This is the story you should be writing. This is the story you were meant to tell. There is no point in being an author if you don’t tell THE STORY. Sigh. In the past, I have found an impressive variety of reasons why I was not yet ready to write The Story. Mostly because it requires sticking my head out farther than usual, and certainly farther than what is comfortable. But, it is time.
The first dumping of words, unworthy to go by the name of draft, I will write long hand in a notebook before entering it into a Word document. Somehow I think if I write bits and pieces of disorganized thoughts, it will be easier. I can’t face seeing the words all lined up like little soldiers across the page, announcing themselves to the world. Not yet. Not at this stage.
So. Yeah. I’m really sticking my neck out this time. We’ll see if I actually follow through with a complete draft or whether, in fact, I will crawl safely back into my turtle shell. Time will tell, as they say!
Well. What are you waiting for? Go ahead. Stick your neck out!