I don’t feel it in my bones today. The words aren’t perched in my throat waiting to sit on a page. I’ve read probably sixty books since the new year. At first a deep dive back into language, worlds, and the feel of my heart playing alongside the turn of a page. Images and ideas began to simmer, bringing fresh breath into words nearly a year old now. Words that have been waiting, waiting, waiting.
What am I waiting for?
Revision scares the hell out of me if we’re to be honest. The disclaimer of it’s only a draft is yanked away once you’re through chopping, adding, and tightening. Then you’re left with the more terrifying prospect of well, actually, this it and I hope you don’t hate it. I hope it isn’t utter, flaming garbage.
And good lord, revision is MESSY. Lose the trope. Pull that heavy influence you hadn’t realized you were relaxing into like a second skin. Oops, forgot to answer that question; better find a spot it fits. Scratch, scratch, tap, tap.
I’m so lucky to have the genius and support of other writers who have run this marathon. They’ve run their races and then done it again. I think of them holding their prize; the spine gripped like the gold that it is, and the tiny, critical envy gremlin in my chest pricks up its ears and begins to yap. They’ll have a series done by the time you figure this out. You could never create something so beautifully done. The slow, artful character builds, the foresight in the plot’s long game, might as well not bother.
And there it is. The easy out. The excuses are heavy on my tongue. The thing is – maybe the words won’t matter to anyone but me. There’s a liz gilbert quote about creativity being a like a pet monster, and you need to feed it or else, you won't much like what it does to get attention. I’ve realized my pet monster is more like a ball of sun, and the longer I ignore it the dimmer it grows taking all its warmth and light along with it. The ember waits for me to blow on it hoping I’ll find the spark it takes to trudge forward flinging words.
The thing that you’re ignoring? Even though you know down to your toes that it brings you life if you can just dig deep enough to start. Stop waiting. It isn’t going to shake you by your shoulders, or light up the sky to catch your eye. It’s been there the whole time. Patient. Waiting. Always knowing that you’ll find your way back to what catches your breath and makes your blood sing.
Don’t wait. Just start.