Sunday, March 16, 2008

Writing and rewriting

For the past week, most of my energy has gone into revising my personal essay (the one I brought to the class in NY). The process has been pretty consuming — probably for all the people who helped me with drafts, too. Stacy, Michelle, Addie, and Jean read the first draft (yikes!) and raised a lot of helpful questions. Jennifer and Veeda, writers from Liza’s class, are taking a look at one of the many revised versions. And Lindsay, Jane, and Liz are helping with yet another version. Of course, my sister Yukie just got a copy. She doesn’t tolerate self-indulgence (and is not afraid to say when something is specific but not interesting), so she’ll probably give me some helpful feedback, too.

Stacy and I have formed a writing group (or dyad, to be precise). She’s both encouraging and critical, which is priceless during the editing process. Everyone else gets nothing in return, ‘cept my gratitude and a standing offer to return the favor.

At some point I’ll have to stop revising and commit, which is a scary prospect. But I do wonder if there’s a danger in overediting, where you lose what made the story uniquely yours in the first place.

The good news: it appears that I’ve gotten through my writer’s block. It’s a novel feeling to be editing stuff after I’ve written it (as compared to agonizing over putting words into a draft). I think my friends have been especially supportive in that respect. Even though writing is a solitary activity, it’s reassuring to know that it doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be worth doing. Thanks, everyone!

1 comment:

Jean said...

This progress is so exciting and I am so proud to be included and mentioned. Thank you! jean