Gut Feelings

When all is well – inspiration is my best friend, life is good and the writing comes easy – I feel great. I type and type and look at my word count at the end of a session and get a nice feeling inside, like warm tea in the belly. I don’t read what I’ve written. I don’t want to spoil that sense of achievement. I don’t want to look and see what I’ve really done because, in the back of my head, a little voice is telling me that maybe it was all too easy.

For me, writing is the dreaming stage – when you love where you are in a dream, you work very hard not to let anything wake you up. I try to be kind to myself, to enjoy the ride. I know when I’ve put off the reading long enough, when I need to sit down and look at what all those word counts have added up to. Were all those nice little warm buzzy gut feelings on the money? What if it’s bad? How will I feel when I’ve read it through; high or oh-so-low?

My writing can be really bad – sentences that actually howl, clunk, grind and grate. That’s not so terrible; when you can point at the problem, you’ve a good chance of fixing it. What I really dread is a page of words that amount to nothing. Bland, hollow, pointless writing. There’s only one way forward with this stuff: select, delete and start again.

I’m all smiles at the moment. I’ve read through my 16,000 words and am very happy to report it isn’t what I consider crap. It needs work – always does, always will – and I’ll be happy to do that work because the ideas I’m striving for are there. My gut was right, so I reward it with milk and choc-chip cookies.

Of course, the Fairly Fabulous Four will make me grit my teeth once they’ve read it, and there will be more work to do then too. I can feel that in my bones.

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2 Comments on “Gut Feelings”

  1. Cliff Burns Says:

    It’s a rollercoaster ride, isn’t it? The writing is going well and all is right with the world. And then those clunky, tuneless sentences begin to manifest themselves, you lose the chord and it all falls into
    disarray and noise. Editing is mortal combat to me, no quarter, no prisoners, I slash with a ruthlessness that sometimes scares me. All in the service of the story…

  2. leedublin Says:

    Hi Cliff – ruthlessness is definitely the way. I recently had a series of five workshops on editing for a novel. Our tutor suggested we approach the taks with the cold, clinical eye of someone performing an autopsy…on a little puppy. That image will stick with me from here on in.


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