Friday, February 25, 2011

Hesitation Cuts

Revision is a hell of a lot of work, like trying to clean your house and realizing that actually what needs to happen is that the walls need to be knocked out, the foundation rebuilt, and well, fuck it, why not start on something new? This is why so many writers have the start or first draft of many, many pieces. I know; I'm in the house right now, of a long piece of work, one to which I've devoted a lot of time and effort. I'm standing in the house, wondering if it's worth it. The house has so much to recommend it, but still. I see glimmers of promise, molding I love, an antique chandelier. I also see the problems. What's a girl to do?

First, stall. This is a good idea. If stalling makes you feel bad, call it meditation. When you can do this no longer, take a second look at the mess. Because it's a mess. The fruits of your labor, well, they suck. This is the clinical term. You pause. If still freaked out, continue to stall/meditate. Think about the times you've taken everything out of your closet. You managed to make sense of it, even when it didn't seem like the place would ever be clean again. Give yourself a pep talk. If you don't like the word pep talk, you can ground yourself, like a downed wire. Read inspirational quotes about long journeys starting with a single step and things that are in locker rooms about quitters never winning and winners never quitting. Take a deep breath. You don't want to crawl back down off the high dive.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, Begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it, Begin it now." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: Cedar Rapids

Benedictions and Maledictions
Thanks for all the kind words about the novella! And yes, yes, on the autograph. Happy Friday!


the walking man said...

Put fire to that wood pile and warm your ass up to the project again.

Jill said...

Sweet Michelle, love the photograph and the advice on revision. Revision is my nemesis in so many ways. So, thanks for the encouragement. Congrats a jillion times on the novella, honey! xo

Charles Gramlich said...

You captured revision perfectly. Good advice too.