Good writing, like good living, requires constant revision
I’m not the type of writer who was born with pen and paper in hand. Nope, I don’t belong to the I Started Writing Since I Was in the Womb Club. I’ve always loved to read, but my passionate love affair with writing didn’t start until my very late 20s. And I didn’t think of writing as a career option until I reached my 30s. This is both bad and good. Bad because I can’t help thinking that I don’t have enough time to write all the stories I have in me. Good because I have lived enough to bring some interesting experiences into my fiction.
There are other good reasons for starting to write as a mature adult (Stop laughing damn it! I’m mature!). Anyway, I started learning about the process of writing before I started actually writing. I’ve read biography after biography of my favorite writers and tried to understand how they got where they are today. Gabriel García Márquez taught me that a first masterpiece can be published at 39. Sherrilyn Kenyon showed me that persistence is one of the best qualities a writer can possess. Kim Harrison helped me see that people do enjoy reading the weird. Jeaniene Frost reiterated that about the importance of revision and rewriting.
My dear friend Marcia Colette, and the wicked mind behind Stripped, has been my living source of writing knowledge (don’t tell her or her head might grow too big and no one likes a big-headed author). Marcia is never too busy to tell me “take your time with your writing; you can always make it better. Don’t be too quick to share your stories online or you might regret it later. If it feels wrong, it usually is, take it slow and analyze the plot before moving on. Blog for your own pleasure and forget about schedules, those who really enjoy reading your stuff will stay around regardless of how sporadic your posts might become. Set goals, but never limits. If something feels absolutely right, just go for it; the opportunity might never present itself again.”
I finished the first draft of BLOOD GRUDGE, my novel length urban fantasy MS, a few months ago. I can’t describe how much I wanted to start sending my baby out to the world, but I listened to Marcia’s advice and let it sit for a while. It was difficult at first. I am eager to share Luna Bravo’s story. But thank the Gods for schoolwork, I've been so busy with it the last few months that I've had little time to think about anything else. I reread my MS, 3 months after I finished the draft, and oh my Gods! I have some work ahead of me. I’m still as excited about the story as the first day I dreamed of Luna and Tristan, but I've found major plot holes, my worldbuilding needs work, and I need to rewrite some characters back to life. I never thought I would say this, but I’m enjoying the revising/editing/rewriting process.
The last few months have taught me that good writing requires constant revision. And if you think about it, this concept applies to everyday life too. We can make our lives better, if we take the time to look back, examine our actions, and do our best to fix what needs fixing. Oh, and if you can't fix it, dump it or burn it! That's my motto. Let it be known that this concept only applies to writing, for if you try burning an ex-partner or someone who annoys you, it is very likely you'll go to jail.
When it comes to Paganism and spirituality in general, I’ve noticed that my beliefs haven’t really changed the last couple of decades, but they have seriously evolved. Fifteen years ago I was just a Witch. Then I realized that there were practices within Witchcraft that didn't apply to me, while other Pagan traditions contained knowledge that completed my worldview. I embraced that knowledge and became an Eclectic Witch. I'm still evolving, growing...
I'm the same Nature loving soul who started dancing to the beat of Paganism’s drum when she was a teenager, but I believe that constant revision has made the eclectic witchy story of my life a much more enjoyable tale.
Does revision and rewriting apply to your life my Wicked Darlings? If so, share a bit of the tale for our wicked learning pleasure, or for the chance to be Touched by Pagan Culture Tuesday!
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