Monday, November 30, 2015
I had an idea. I went with it.
It came upon me, rushed straight through me, was so clear in every way that I could not see (despite several rounds of editing) where all the problems were. The airiness in places. The repetitions. The transitions that were the farthest thing from cool.
In the heat of excitement over an idea, a place, a family of characters, I failed to see the novel's many failures.
And so months have gone by. And so dear, wise, kind literary agent Danielle Smith has read the book and offered hope. And so I sit with the book now again on my lap, working through a first real revision (the kind you can do only after your original excitement has cooled). I'm cataloging all the mistakes I made.
(I blush. I shake my head. I have to stand up. Shake it off.)
I'm thinking, Beth, you are better than this. Beth, you should have known. Beth, how could you not have heard the breakage in this sentence? Beth, where was your sense of rhythm?
I'm thinking, Beth, when will you stop being a novice writer?
I'm thinking, Not anytime soon.
I'm thinking we're all, in some way, always novice writers, no matter how many books we've writen through.
That we only save ourselves by revising well once the original heat and rush have cooled.