Thursday, August 9, 2012

Unfinished Business

This week, I've been spending a lot of time getting to know people at my new job. Inevitably, when I meet someone, they ask me about myself. I always start out by saying, "I'm a pretty boring person. I read and I write."

Writing is now my job. And let me tell you, I'm thrilled about that! I loved working in publicity, but I didn't realize how much I truly missed copywriting until I started doing it again. I'm guessing the same would be true with my fiction writing - if I ever started doing it again.

I haven't written any fiction for over a year. Yes, a year. Can I even say "I write fiction" anymore? I don't think so.

When discussing writing with a superior today, I quoted James Michener and said, "I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter."

Editing is great. I don't want anyone to ever read a word I write until it's been edited.  I don't care how much experience you have or how well you think you know the English language, get your work edited! Writers, I can't stress this enough.

But, I don't just edit. I pick apart everything until there's nothing left. The result is that nothing I write is ever finished. Therefore, I don't feel as though I can tackle another project, become frustrated with the current one and stop. Just stop.

One year ago, I put away a manuscript I'd been working on for close to a year. I'd edited it, tweaked it and rewrote parts of it for months. Then, when I'd had enough, it went into a folder and hasn't been touched. I want to dust it off and look at it again, but the task seems so daunting. And scary!

So, when it's all said and done, maybe I'm an excellent writer but not a very good rewriter.

1 comment:

  1. I know the month is already one fourth of the way finished, but I know a lot of bloggers who have been taking the "try something new" or "conquer a fear" challenge - where they do something that scares them, challenges them, confuses them or is a secret to them once a day or week. Maybe you can try something like this? You started a new job, conquer a new task a month?

    That being said, I'm intrigued by your fiction writing. If you ever want another pair of eyes to check it out, I have a good one :)