I had company earlier today. This little lady and a few of her friends have managed to find their way into our house as they seem to do every spring. I thought she displayed an amazing degree of bravery, though, marching across my notebook the way she did. Don’t worry, she did not meet her demise. I escaped her, as my four-year-old grandson would say.
Unfortunately, this was yet another diversion to keep me from the dreaded rewrites. Am I allowed to say that I am so tired of this story that I want to remove all references to the thing from my desk, my hard drive, and everywhere else?
I read this quote from Ernest Hemingway:
I read my books sometimes to cheer me up when it’s hard to write and then I remember that it was always difficult and how nearly impossible it was sometimes.
While I’ve never been a Hemingway fan, his words are so true. Today feels like one of those nearly impossible days. I wonder what it is that makes me think I can actually write something that people will want to read. Am I kidding myself? Are my dreams too big?
I know what the acceptable answer is. I’m just not feelin’ it.
So, from the desk of a very honest and discouraged writer who is avoiding the work of rewrites on a story she doesn’t want to look at anymore, it is what it is. I know this will pass. It always does. I know the exhilaration of a really good writing day will come again. I am confident that whatever creativity lurks in the recesses of my muddled brain will make its way to the surface eventually. I will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Right?
RIGHT . . . ?
I’m going to go outside and re-pot my ferns now.
4 responses to “Ladybugs and Rewrites”
Oh, Wendy, how all aspects of this post resonate with me.
First, ladybugs. Every January, they begin to appear in our master bathroom. They still appear now (Chris tells me they might be the same ones). At any given time, we have as many as three or four in our master bath…at the same time. Over the past months, I’ve captured twenty-five or more and released them back outside. I don’t know what to make of it anymore. I’m trying to be philosophical (they’re there to remind me spring is on its way, etc.), but I’ve had enough now. Whenever I see one, I know I’ll have to figure out a way to get it in a glass, even if it’s up at the ceiling, so it won’t die somewhere. I’m tired of taking responsibility for their poor sense of direction (can you hear my frustration?).
Second, rewrites. Do I hear you. I find, when I’m getting sick of them, it means I’ve almost finished working on that section–at least for now. Time to move on to another piece, something newer and more exciting.
Stop with the negative feeling that no one will want to read what you write. I don’t want to hear it anymore. There’s no reason whatsoever for you to feel insecure. You’re entitled to your voice as much as anyone else is. And yours is just as important as anyone else’s. (Don’t forget that.)
And, finally, when you’re not feeling it is when you need to give in to it even more. Sit at your desk and surrender to your words. Surrender to your story. Surrender to what you know is so important to you. Suck it up. Make it happen. And, above all, practice patience. That’s what writing is truly about. It’s one of the greatest teachers of patience I’ve ever known. So many things are are meant to teach us patience–writing is surely one of them.
I’m thinking of you at your desk. You’d better be there.
Rick, thanks for this! I am at my computer again after re-potting my ferns, which was a bigger job than I had anticipated but I can’t let them die because they are descendants of my great-grandmother’s beautiful fern and she would be horrified to know how long I left them in their old pots. Kind of a legacy thing, you know?
I know I need to do the rewrites. They are necessary. They are good. And they are brutal. Enough said.
I just leave the ladybugs alone. For my grandsons to catch.
Wendy – I too have had a hard time finishing my Voyagers novel. I have about four chapters yet, but haven’t touched the book in months. No motivation! I think I have a great story to tell, but just can’t get back into it. Writer’s block? I don’t think so. Lack of time or motivation? That’s more it. Or maybe those are just excuses. Anyway, thanks for sharing your journey with others like you who call ourselves writers… hope you get a chance to sit down and work on the story soon – and get inspired!
You can do it, Chris! Nobody ever said it was easy, or even fun. But your words are true: you have a great story to tell, so finish it already. I want to read!