I envy writers who can make things up. JK Rowling? A total goddess. She created a whole world that is so amazing, I wouldn’t even know where to start. And Stephenie Meyer? Genius. When it comes to writing, I am a voyeur. I look at life, see a story that needs telling, and I tell it. Naturally, names are changed to protect the innocent, but at the core, the story is real. It’s true: life is stranger than fiction.
I’ve been writing a short story for three years. What? Yeah, the first year I was thinking about writing it, the second year I wrote it, and the third year, I danced around cutting out what wasn’t working so the gem inside could shine. I know! Seems like a convoluted process, right? I knew it wasn’t working, I knew I had to get rid of a bunch of stuff, but I wasn’t willing to see it. I was still too in love with my own words to be brutally honest with myself about what had to go. Argh!
Until last week. Last week, a friend asked to see the story I was working on, and thusly flattered, I agreed. Then I realized that I couldn’t show him my shambles of a story yet, I needed to polish it up, make it shine a little. Ah, ego! So, I went to my computer and opened the file, looking at it with new eyes –not my eyes –but maybe the eyes of someone who had never read this story, had no history with it, had no expectations. And then I cut. Ruthlessly, and precisely, I cut. I carved away whole sections without thinking, without getting sentimental about how well written that part of my story was. I think I entered into a sort of trance state. When I came out of it, I looked at what I had done, what my story had become. And I was amazed. What previously had been a cluttered, rambling, densely packed collection of bits and pieces had somehow become clean, simple, honest.
So what’s holding you back? What beautiful gem have you got buried beneath a pile of yesterday’s rubble? What part of your ‘story’ are you not being honest with yourself about? Seriously? Nothing is written in stone. Love, C
My two cents: It’s totally okay to let go of what isn’t working.
I love getting rid of stuff, letting things go. Maybe that’s why I love to move. Starting with a clean slate. But by the same token I can understand the idea of knowing what’s not working yet, something inside says, just keep it you might need it someday. I don’t like when my life is filled with too much stuff, so much clutter that you can’t see the beauty in what you have. Eliminate all that isn’t necessary, isn’t that what a sculptor does? Chip away at a block of stone until he discovers the work of art that lies within?
C and I are kinda just going with the flow regarding writing this blog, flying by the seat of our pants and I am loving it. Not knowing what’s coming next is kind of exciting. We really don’t know what we’re doing but we have created something that has taken on a life of it’s own and we are just letting it play out organically with no attachment to the outcome. Isn’t that how everything should be?
We have been reading and researching all aspects of blogging, posts, plugins, widgets, etc. I read somewhere that blogs should be about a hundred words less that we have been doing. . .okay, sounds good. I know if I stumble on a blog post that drags on and on I tend to pass on it and move onto something requiring a little less committment . So C and I had no problem cutting down our posts, like I said before, we’re just figuring this all out. No ego attached.
I don’t think it was any coincidence that C met this person who might be interested in her story, the story she had been holding on to for three years at almost the precise moment she became okay with editing her story not because she had to, not because someone told her to but because she knew that it would be the best thing for the story and her ego had nothing to do with it. I just love when things work out like that, but don’t things always work out like that? I am seeing more and more that they do. Amazing what happens when you let go of your ego and fears about how things are going to turn out. xo-K
My two cents: Hold on to your dreams, let go of everything else.