07 January 2012

Writing Without a Devil on Your Back

Words betrayed her: beautiful butterflies in her mind;
dead moths when she opened her mouth for their release into the world.
~ Glen Duncan

I said that I wanted to post at least twice a week, and here it is the end of the first week of the new year, and voila: my second post, just making it across the finish line like a sweat-flecked favorite at the Derby, his nostrils spewing white gusts of breath.

Better late than never I suppose.

G.K. Chesterton once said (or at least it is attributed to him) that a thing worth doing is worth doing badly.  But I don’t know about that.  Bad writing is just plain bad writing.  And usually when I read it (or see it played out on the big or small screen), I want to gouge out my eyes or have a book-burning party.  (Can one burn DVDs?)  Some writing should never see the light of day, it’s so bad. 

Unfortunately, bloggers have two demons chasing them: a daily deadline (if we want our words to get out there; you can’t change the world with words if no one reads them!), and no editor.

Deadlines.  I can live with deadlines.  Like most writers, nothing I write is ever perfect enough to publish, and without an editor riding my procrastinating rear, self-imposed deadlines can simply fade away like pixie dust. 

But editors!

Some writers will tell you they hate their editor.  I only wish I had one to hate!  Sullivan does a pretty good job of catching my grammatical mistakes and pointing out better ways to convey whatever it is I’m trying to say.  But for the most part, I’m on my own.

And I hate poor writing.

Actually, hate isn’t a strong enough word.  Despise?  Abhor?  Loathe?

You thought I was kidding about burning books, didn’t you?  I have two working fireplaces in my house and sadly, I have enough kindling in poor writing to get me through the winter!  

Who wants to be that writer?  I do not want to be that writer!

But of course I have been.  A lot of the kindling are my own scribblings, bits and bobs of poems never pursued, first drafts of stories that I strangled at almost their first breath, songs only half remembered.  But that’s ok.  Bad writing should never see the light of day, but it must still be written.  Think of it as getting the poison out, or sowing your wild writing oats.  Get it over with so you can get on to the good stuff.

And by the way, don’t burn the bad stuff.  It just might be the seed of something new. 

And good.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

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