Two years ago today I posted this to my blog, and reading it again this morning made me smile.
Because once again, I feel like I’m up a tree. Once again, something that seemed simple, in my head, is turning out to be so much more tricky on paper. Once again I’m being reminded that writing is hard work. And sometimes it’s slow work. And that’s ok.
But another reason why I’m smiling is because that “first ever effort in the world of magical realism” that I mentioned in this post refers my story “Teardrops and Watermelon Seeds,” the story that was published this spring in Spark. Which just goes to show that the hard, slow work does pay off eventually.
After two years of writing, I still expect stories to pop out of my head and form, nearly-finished, on the page. Despite more than a decade of telling students to slow down and take their time, I still rush. Although lately I’ve urged myself to focus, to finish things before I start new ones, I still make daily to-do lists that say things like…
- Finish chapter 14
- Revise short story
- Write a blog post
- Read for one hour
…and I actually expect that such quick accomplishments and multitasking of the mind are possible.
A few mornings ago, I woke up with a story in my head. I developed it, tweaked it, walked around with it, honed it, until it was practically bursting from me. I was so excited to sit down and write it out. (That…
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6 thoughts on “Writerly Ramblings on a Rainy Afternoon”
I enjoyed rereading this post in light of you recently publishing “Teardrops and Watermelon Seeds”, and I adored that quote. Makes me want to read that essay in its entirety. So true! Writing IS hard work. I am rewriting (not revising) my YA novel that I actually started ALL the way back in high school and finished about 4 years ago. And the rewrite is going GREAT, so much more developed and polished than the previous version. But the thing is, I can’t stop thinking about what comes after I finish this brilliant rewrite: MORE WORK. And that’s disheartening in some ways, and sometimes it’s exciting when you get down to it, trying to work out the best ways the puzzle fits together. But while we tell ourselves we choose to inflict this on ourselves, we writers know the truth: There is no choice. This is who and what we are. We take the work with the exhilarating, mind-blowing, squee-inducing fun. 🙂
Good luck with the rewrite! I admire your determination. You have such perseverance to keep working on a project you started so long ago. What a document you’ll have when you finish. I can only imagine the many drafts will tell a story– not just your novel’s story, but the story of YOU as a writer. 🙂
I love this! I feel like I spend most of my time up in a tree, which is okay, really. I like climbing trees. 🙂 Love your poem, love how this story came around (and to fruition), and love that Ann Patchett excerpt too!
I’m glad you liked it! I enjoy climbing trees too, but I’m sort of like Tigger. I can climb UP trees, but I can’t climb down them so well. 🙂
That’s a delightful poem Carrie. Made me picture an obstinate child who just won’t cooperate even when threatened 😊
Thank you! Yes, my writing projects often act like obstinate children. 😉