Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rewrite epiphany

Last week was a milestone week for my writing career. I not only finished a story, but I completely rewrote, revised and submitted it to the workshop for critiquing. The former two activities I have done before, but putting the work out there to be reviewed by my writing peers --not classmates, friends or loved ones-- is new to me. Honestly, it felt good to let it go out into the wild, almost like a I'm a working writer or something.

Recently, I came across a gold mine of personal scribblings from high school and early college: short stories, essays and failed journal entries. Apparently, I was wise enough to write down my thoughts on the night of the September 11 attacks, an ineloquent volume of WTF?. Thumbing through the pages I laughed, lauded and cringed. Mostly cringed. Before my stint in journalism, I had a 'never-look-back' mentality towards my writing that was obvious in this self-reflective, treasure trove. When the last period was placed, Ctrl-P, done. Looking back would have been to look in the mirror and analyze every flaw. I avoided it like people avoid checking their bank account balance. I was certain my writing was an extension of my very flawed self.

Somewhere along the path of this current rewrite, I let go of most of that. As I fixed mistakes and added layers of polish, the story started to stand on its own, no longer propped up by my ego. The piece just became "work" and I was able to look at it more objectively. Problem avoidance was a disease I had rid myself of a few years ago and all I needed was to apply that same mentality to my writing. It worked and now the story is out their waiting to be praised or slaughtered. I'm okay with either.

I will post a synopsis of the feedback I get in a few weeks.

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