Writing and I have been on a love rollercoaster tonight. I’m trying to wrap up this essay for The Writer magazine’s memoir contest, which is due tomorrow. (Which, pssh, “memoir” in just 1200 words? I’d like to see you try, rule-makers. These crappy blog entries are often that long or more. Come on!)
To give you a window into my writing neurosis, here’s the kind of fiddling I sometimes do with tweets (TWEETS, for the love). Momma’s just got to get it to sound right or else why do it at all, dig? (That sentence does not count.)
One of life’s great tragedies: sometimes the brilliant things you wrote last night are the mediocre things you have to fix today.
It’s one of life’s great tragedies that sometimes the brilliant things you write one day become the mediocre things you try to fix the next.
Why is the brilliant thing I wrote last night so often the mediocre thing I have to fix today?
Revision is this weird walk of shame with your own ideas. Why is the brilliant thing I wrote last night so often the mediocre thing I have to fix today?
I think that little progression’s fun because it illustrates what a feverish and picky self-editor I am, and the sentiment itself is also so true. I get tricked by my own ideas all the time, excitedly scribbling a spark of inspiration, only to discover on a second or third reading that I have not, in fact, become the Voice of This Generation just yet.
Still, I think writing & I are going to patch things up and give it another try.
I discarded that tweet (though I still like the idea-walk-of-shame idea…), but I have 1198 words elsewhere that I’m starting to have friendly feelings for.
So I’d better go read it again, again.