I have written a novella while on maternity leave, as regular readers will know. I’m supposed to be editing it at the fallow periods like lunchtime and bus trips, but the fact is I tend to use those periods to stare blankly into space. (“What’s your favorite humming noise? Mine is buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”)
I’ve managed to do some this lunch time, however. Seeing the ideas I have begin to form on the page is a pleasure, a real pleasure that comes from the center of the brain. But its taken a long time to get the will to do that, as I have been avoiding it. Too hard and no fun! But when I am there, and I can objectively survey the work I have done, I can reject the childish notions I’ve put down on the page and instead show a mature version that thinks of those who will be reading this. Remember, no one wants to read your work. No one wants to work through a difficult obscure prose style or a character that holds no water it is so weak. Your work should persuade your reader to keep reading, to see it and to be greedy for it. That’s why writing is when you get to do whatever you want. Editing is when you reflect the world outside your mind and do what it wants.
Writing is Childhood. Editing is Maturity. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stare into space. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………
I completely agree, Claire! If you want people to read your stuff, you have to work to make it something they’ll want to read.
Your sister in law, Ash, pointed me to your blog.
Best of luck with your own writing Paul!