Monday, February 7, 2011

I can do hard things

I've been rewriting a story I've already re-written twice now. I finally know exactly where I want to take it, but it's still hard to force myself to fill in the blank pages. Because, really, for all I know, I'm just going to have to rewrite it all over again when I'm done.

But I've learned something about myself in the process. I can do hard things. Sure, it was difficult finishing my very first story (the one that nobody will EVER read). I wanted to prove to myself I could finish it, and I did, even though it isn't very good. I'm still proud about that one, despite its problems. And it was hard learning to turn my skeleton stories into fleshed out, living things. And learning to line edit. But this third re-write has taken the cake, and there are times I stare at the page with fear bubbling up inside of me--what I write might end up in the cut section, so what's the point. It's not writer's block, it's more like writer's terror.

The point is, you can't edit a blank page! So even if my words end up in the scrap heap, at least there was something there to edit. And I've learned more about my story and characters in the process, which makes the rewrite that much easier.


  1. Thanks Gaylene. I needed that today.

  2. Good post, Gaylene.

    Rewriting can be so exhausting sometimes. Like having a baby. Only labor pains keep on going...and going...

    And I think I end up editing out all my very favorite lines. Always. Weird. It's like the story grows away from them and they just don't work after awhile. Knowing that is sort of relieving, though, since nothing has to be crafted perfectly the first (or second, or tenth) time, because it may or may not stay. So you're free to let your subconscious really do its thing. It's only when I cut that I seem to figure out the thing my story needed.

  3. So true, Elena. Once I cut my favorite lines, the story isn't "mine" anymore, it can become whatever it's trying to be.