Over the last few weeks, it seems I haven’t been able to motivate myself to do anything more creative than match socks or find a weak-ass substitute for eggs in a cookie recipe. I’d pop in here, fully intending to post something, when the realization I had nothing worth writing about would slap me upside the head like a very large salmon. Sure, we had a couple of snow days to distract me. Sure, we had a kitty death in our family which deflated me faster than the marriage of a push pin and a balloon. But are those enough to derail any smidge of creativity?
When I’m deep in first-draft writing, I find it fairly easy to stay on track, even if I don’t keep up with whatever word count goals I’ve set for myself. Yet when I set editing or revising goals, I find it much easier to stray. Much, much easier. Like so easy you could do it with eyes closed and hands tied behind your back. Okay, I’ll ‘fess up – editing and revising are my least favorite parts of writing. Why? Because I think I’m not very good at them. Major suckage. Suckier than a really sucky thing. Suckier than a Dyson.
And that brings me to an interesting thought… am I really enormously bad at editing and revising, or am I flogging myself needlessly because I have some misguided notion of other writers being ‘magic’ at their second, third, or fourth passes through a book? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, ‘get the words on the page’, and ‘you can fix anything but a blank page’, and ‘you’ll fix that when you edit’. But what if I can’t? What if I don’t know how? Do I have those skills tucked somewhere in my writers toolbox? Do I possess the natural abilities to edit, revise, and look at my story with an unbiased eye? And if I do, how do I find them, because they sure as hell aren’t making themselves easily apparent.
This dry spell, this self-flagellation, must and will pass. In the meantime I’ll watch the closing ceremony of the Olympics, have a cup of tea and ponder all the characters who live in my stories. They deserve a life outside the craziness of my brain.