Starting again at 50, learning new things and finding new things to be passionate about ... and as I go, writing it down.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Time to try something new?
I have been writing. Obviously, I have not been writing on my blog, at least with not much regularity. I have been writing though.
The first draft is done. I have been throughout the process taking sections of the book and reading them aloud at the Writer’s Workshop I attend. The other writers in attendance will comment, possibly make suggestions for improvement. It is always done in a very supportive environment and one that works for me because no matter how much I have convinced myself I am incapable of actually writing, I walk away from a workshop night feeling once more invigorated.
Now I am working on what I consider the third draft. Don’t know if in reality it is what some would consider a third draft but I do. When I finished the first draft, I went back to the workshop group and I started over from the beginning. Again, there were comments and suggestions, ways to improve, what worked, what didn’t.
I went home and I rewrote and I revised, and although when the suggestions were made I felt like I could never accomplish what they suggested, they were right and once I started it made sense and became easier.
I went through the entire manuscript and made some changes. I knew it still wasn’t perfect, but it was better. Then I took it back again and I read the next very small portion. They didn’t disappoint, they praised me for the good parts and made constructive comments for what still needed work. Again, I left not sure I could do what they suggested and again I found out they were right.
So now I have gone through the entire manuscript again and rewritten and revised, large portions. Is it done? No, I’m certain it is not. But, it is getting closer.
I have to admit I actually went through the entire manuscript twice this time, making some changes each time.
I now have a tiny fear, am I becoming obsessive about futzing with it? Am I doing that to avoid moving on to something else? I know the manuscript is not perfect. I sometimes though, need to let it sit, and wait to hear what others think, to find out if my revisions worked, if my rewrites captured the suggestions made. So, I am in no way done, but I feel at the same time, maybe I could now spend some time writing something else, practicing my craft.
I keep telling myself that in my dream life I would be a freelance writer, being paid for my writing, either for essays or short stories or even for assigned stories for a magazine. I have not written any of those short stories or essays, yet. I have a notebook that I make little notes in about ideas for stories. I have started some, but I never seem to finish them. I have long used the excuse that I was writing a memoir and needed to stay focused.
I know in my heart and my head that I have reached a point where it will be okay to step away from the memoir for a few days and it won’t mean I won’t go back to it. Is it time?
Guess I need to pull out that notebook and see if any of those ideas blossom into a story.