Imagine, though, if you were dying of thirst (you are, you’re a writer) and the person holding the hose kept shutting it off so they could adjust something. Spurt of water. Shut it off. Adjust. Spurt of water. Shut it off. Adjust.
You’d strangle them. Just give me the water!
The last round of blood tests trying to locate the cause of my extreme fatigue over the slightest exertion returned nothing of any meaning. My triglycerides are still slightly elevated despite taking a medication for exactly that result from the last blood test. My potassium is slightly low despite taking one medication and a daily supplement for exactly that result from tests over the past decade. Everything else, everything blood can be tested for (include Valley Fever, the local version of Lyme’s Disease) are exactly as you’d expect for a healthy person.
Rather than becoming a professional patient, since there’s no indication anything life-threatening is going on, no evidence of a ticking clock, and no suggestion that a solution is on the horizon, I’m going to treat myself, starting with the daily bike ride I’ve neglected since the fatigue set in, a return to daily mindfulness meditation, and a continued drive toward emotional and spiritual balance and security.
If you find me beside my bicycle in the ditch with my heart or head exploded, remind me I’m in good health for someone my age. I’m sure I’ll feel much better.
shatter leaves from the trees and slash them through my dream
pour them onto the road I cannot travel
smear them across the windows I cannot see
tear the rain from the air and chase it from this place
dry the lies
and the hate and
upturn the funnel
empty the blackness till it whitens
drag my heart from here to that place I belong
that place where I dreamt I was me,
where I dreamt I was myself
Apparently Wednesday comes a day late this week. Still sorting this new posting schedule. Glad you’re here.
Papa H famously said, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”
Just to be totally clear that I’m not advocating alcohol abuse, the point is that made by Gustave Flaubert in a letter to Gertrude Tennant (her daughter Dorothy married the explorer Henry Stanley.)
Flaubert wrote Soyez réglé dans votre vie et ordinaire comme un bourgeois, afin d’être violent et original dans vos œuvres.
Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
There is a natural balance between order and chaos. You will have a certain amount of each in life, in your personality, in your art. Continue reading “Write Drunk. Edit Sober. Is That Right?”
Imagine, though, if you were dying of thirst (you are, you’re a writer) and the person holding the hose kept shutting it off so they could adjust something. Spurt of water; shut it off, adjust. Spurt of water, shut it off, adjust.
You’d strangle ‘em, screaming “Just give me the water!”
That’s what your heart is doing when you write slowly, methodically, with your head. Because you don’t write with your head, you write with your heart. You edit with your head.
No one but you will see your unedited words, so don’t worry about whether they’re perfect.
Because if you worry that they’re perfect, nobody but you will ever see your words, period.
Elizabeth Spann Craig shares an excellent outline of her method for rewriting. It’s short, but involves a lot. While writing should be done straight from the heart, rewrites and revisions will involve a bit more of the structural orderly stuff done best by other parts of your brain.
I’ll soon be doing the rewrite for the sequel to Through the Fog. Once I finish it.
Bookmark this. You’ll want it when you reach this point.
Ali Luke describes her method. Parallels and differences.