writing

Good Writing Day, Today Was

I’ve been “writing” every day for weeks now, though mostly I’ve just been sitting here for hours at a time, forcing out sentences and deleting them. Hating everything. Starting over. And over. And over.

I’m pretty sure I’ve re-written chapter fifty about twenty times. The other day, I managed to finish a scene I’d been fighting with for hours on end for weeks, and I thought, YES, it’s DONE. I can move on. But I couldn’t move on. Each time I sat down to write it, the words got stuck. The dialogue fell flat. I wrote, and deleted, and wrote and deleted.

I figured today would go no differently, but this morning I sat down to write, and decided to go back to the scene I thought I’d finished. Frustrated, I deleted half of it. I re-wrote the middle, and re-wrote the end, and kept on going until I’d written two more scenes, and half of another. I can’t remember the last time that happened. After months of struggling to put one word after another, fighting to get anywhere at all, I managed to finish the chapter, and start the next.

A little while ago, I printed up the chapter for K to read, and she said, “I really love it from here onward.”

She pointed to a sentence in the middle of the first scene, and I looked at it and sighed. “That’s everything I wrote today, starting from that very sentence.”

She said, “Everything before this doesn’t sound like you.”

I thought it fascinating how she could pinpoint the difference between the stuff I forced onto the page over the course of three weeks, and the stuff that flowed easily over the course of two hours. It’s also very frustrating. I’ll have to go back and fix the beginning, but I’m happy knowing the rest is good.

Writing is, above all, about not giving up.