Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just a few thoughts

Hey there, folks. Just a few thoughts while I'm wrapping up this morning's writing session.

I've got a lot on my mind this morning from my personal life, and naturally that's affecting my writing. I'm not angry or upset about that -- these are important issues that must be addressed -- but I wonder how I'll look at my work when I get to the editing process. "Jeeze, what was going on in my head right then? Oh, right ..."

Distracted writing is dangerous writing.

There's also some really, seriously, wonderfully good things going on in my personal life, that are seeping their way into what I'm writing. And that's pretty terrific. If I can gather myself more fully this afternoon or tomorrow, I'll tell you more about that.

But back to that whole writing-it-now, editing-it-later thing. I just wrote a sentence, "X steeled himself as he rode up to the main house, where Y would be." And then I changed it to "... where Y would surely be." And then to "... where Y was sure to be." All of these ways sound perfectly fine to me; I only changed them because the latter two options are more in tune with the accent of this particular scene. The first option, though, has the virtue of simplicity, and for that reason, I'll probably wind up changing it back to "... where Y would be" when I go back and edit.

I hate second-guessing myself -- absolutely hate it, and I utterly reject the "wisdom" I was once offered, that said I should always second-guess myself. No. It's fine to look back and learn from your mistakes, because that's how we LEARN. (See how I used that word twice in the sentence? It's important!)

But don't overdo it. Don't beat yourself up or cut yourself down about it. Don't keep asking "What if I had done it that way?" or "Why didn't I do it right the first time?" If you did it the way you did, then it was either a mistake (those happen!) or you had a good reason for doing it that way.

(Behavioral psychologists, child development experts, teachers, parents, and everybody else, are free to disagree with me. But I sleep pretty well at night.)

And that's why I try not to look at the editing process as second-guessing, but as a sort of Gurneyan spiral: always coming back to where we were, but always moving onward and upward, too.

Hopefully I'll get to some book reviews soon, and as I mentioned above, a few other things. But I just wanted to share those thoughts for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment