Revising Hell

trapped-lin-van-der-heiden

 

Revising is a tedious experience for a writer.

The story is told, characters explored, and new ideas have likely spawned.  Instead of creating, being imaginative, you’re stuck in a reparative cycle of critiquing all for someone else’s sake.  You’re in literary purgatory.  Trapped, forbidden to write by the nagging idea that people will someday read your story, a story that seems increasingly pedestrian the more you read it.  This stage feels like punishment.  A job without a boss to blame because if you really wanted to, you could walk away, no one would know.

Instead you sit there, pound away until the knot in your back bites, the knuckles closest to your fingernails rust over, letting life pass by as you comb through a story no one besides your best friends and family will read out of a misplaced sense of obligation.  To await scrutiny, the minor inconsistencies pointed out by people who lack the resolve to spend a year working on a single piece of, dare I say, art?

Revising is torture.  It is the reason most books remain unfinished.  But do it anyway.

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