Monday, January 21, 2013

Change of a Word

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I have mentioned a number of times that I've been working on a new project -- a new story. That is all well and good -- it's going along fine and I'm in the midst of writing out chapter five. On occasion, though, I get inspired to write poetry, and last night I wrote three. I have a small notebook filled to almost 1/3 with poetry -- some of it is not so great, and some have decent potential.

I learned along the way that we are our own worst critic. When you think about it -- here's the reasons: Mostly we hate our own work and try to perfect it. But there is never any such thing as perfection -- of course. And on the other hand, sometimes you don't see how to possibly improve something at first -- as you are so enamored of your own work. It's ridiculous.

It is incredibly difficult to look objectively at your own work, like you've never read it before. It's difficult to distance yourself from what bits of your soul you've poured out on paper. I think the worst thing is to convince yourself that there is no need to revise after you first write something, but revision is so much easier said and mused about than actually done.

Sometimes just a change of a word within a poem is all you can manage -- and sometimes that is a fantastic thing. But there are times, especially with me and my long, drawn out pieces, that whole sections of the poem can be cut or rebuilt to give the piece more depth.

I hardly have the problem where I love a piece so much that I can't revise it. For me it is usually the opposite, and I taunt myself to think what is written is anywhere close to what skill I am capable of. The words are all wrong, the sound isn't just right, blah blah blah.

Last night though, I wrote two poems that I absolutely adored. In my own head, they made sense and sounded fantastic. Except, that's too short sighted. I woke up, read them again, and still loved them to bits. But they need revision, as do all rough drafts. They need to be put onto a larger piece of paper and be delved into again -- maybe to improve the imagery and add in more concrete detail. Maybe change the phrasings until the image is so clear, we might as well have been standing right in the scene, should it have ever existed. Maybe make any metaphors and parallels as clear as possible without giving away the punchline. Maybe write more -- because these pages are kind of small...

I suppose it'll be fine as long as I keep working at it and enjoying what I do. I have this weird need to write, like an itch sometimes. Try as I may to ignore it or be "too lazy" -- I have to write. My brain won't leave me alone otherwise. I think it's the reason my blogs and first drafts are a bit chaotic, but that is okay. I just have to keep writing, and I'll survive.


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