Friday, May 13, 2011

Editing and readjusting my Mind

...with the mall, my sister, and 50 cent elephants

Earlier this week we spent three beautiful days in Lincoln City writing. I know many of you are probably hideously jealous... But the actual writing part wasn't all that dandy.

I'm on the fourth round of edits for my current nonfiction writing project and it's complete torture. For some reason this book has been extremely painful to write. And you can tell. I'm pretty sure the whole things sounds like someone typing while being hung by their toes.

My deadline is June 10th. I just know I'm not ready to write this book.

Thank God for other people! I have gotten so much input on this project. I am so thankful.

Many people have met with me, emailed me, talked with me, and advised me. And if it all turns rotten, I'm just going to blame it on them. ;-)

As in most things, my sistah friend (a.k.a. Polka Dot/Susannah) has been a huge help. (And yes, I did pirate the above picture directly off her blog.)

We went through the entire manuscript word by word. It was abstract, she made it personal. It was drab, she made it shiny. It was dull as tombs, she made it bouncy and lively. She can think of just the right word or phrase without even pausing. Why is it that writing comes so easy to those who don't even want to pursue it?

After sending the poor book back out for feedback, we packed our suitcases and hit the outlet malls. Susannah found one of those elephants you put quarters in so kids can ride...and yes, she did it. Only it wasn't meant for someone as tall as 5'9". An elderly man walked past and kept looking around and hollering, "That's too funny." So much for being discrete...

We came home and had internet again and Blogger was shut down for over 24hrs. Nice.

I tutor writing on Thursdays. I love writing with kids. They don't bang their head against the table and moan (generally), they just write. And it comes so easy and beautiful and imaginative! I can't begin to explain how teaching writing refreshes, encourages, and readjust my head about the whole thing.

You don't want to hear about our Clackamas Town Center adventure...that's a completely different story. ;-)

Let's just say it's been an interesting, wild, productive, and learning week. In the midst of a beautiful insane weekend, I am going to think about this--

Why is writing so hard for writers?

I think my mind needs some editing.

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian


Ashley said...

They say it took Mark Twain 16 years to write 'The Prince and the Pauper'. My motto:

"Don't rush it, and learn to put the pen down".

If it is stressing me, I let it rest. It usually works itself out in a week.

Miss Eyebright said...

Ah, I recognize some place names in there! Lincoln City, Clackamas...I'm an Oregonian myself!

I know just how you feel about not being able to write. I'm currently out of the writing spirit, although I am forming a new story idea in my head. I want to cherish it until it has enough bones and flesh to help me finish it!

So, good luck for you and your work, and I'm glad you had such a fabulous time on the coast! :)

Hayden said...

I just starting working again on a story of mine that had been neglected for quite some time, and I'm having the hardest time with it!

Oh, I feel your pain. Well, most of it. I don't have a deadline, which I'm extremely grateful for.

Good luck on your writing, and I'm sure it will turn out great :)

Edith F. said...

H'm, several thoughts.

1) Writers care more about the writing being good, which makes it harder, for reasons I have never understood.
2) For some of us, writing is so natural it's almost a function of our being, and as such, doesn't want to be forced. Think about eating when you aren't hungry.
3) It's hardest to see the project when you're inside it. (My biggest problem; breaks help.)

I've visited Oregon. It's a most beautiful state. : ) Good luck wrapping up your nonfiction project.


Anna said...

Sounds like you had fun. :)
I can tell you, from my years upon years of experience, (being the all-knowing wise sage that I am) why writing is so hard for writers....*drumroll*...
answer: Where would the fun be, if it all came as easy as eating pie? Where would the great sense of accomplishment come from if there was nothing to it?'s the best part...where would our excuse to eat junk food for inspiration be if writing weren't hard?

Now that you know the answer, be happy and have a good week!
~Anna P.