I Thought I Wanted…

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I thought I wanted…

I thought I wanted to write a novel.

I had dreamed of a land where a song could make things come to life and grow strong; a land where the stars fell from the sky and took physical form; a land where dragons did more than breathe fire, trees grew upside down, and elves had emotion enough to laugh. This world and its characters have been in my heart for four years now, weaving intricate stories that may never find their way to paper. Nonetheless, I thought I wanted to write a novel.

I have to admit—when I said I wanted to write a novel, I didn’t realize that it would entail hours of writing, rewriting, re-rewriting, unwriting, cutting, scribbling out, and writing again. I thought that once I wrote “the end,” it would be finished. After all, I was always a good English student; I always excelled at writing; I seldom wrote “first drafts” for my school papers. Even in college, when assigned to revise a piece I’d written earlier in the semester, I expressed to my professor that I felt the piece was as polished as it would ever be. He agreed, unfortunately, which resulted in an A, but also fed my enormous ego and led me farther away from the reality: Revision is a necessary part of writing.

I still want to write that novel. But now I realize what I needed to know all along: my desire to write a novel is strong enough that I’ll swallow my pride and do some rewriting. Will I ever publish? I am doubtful. Let me master this revision stuff before I allow my dreams to grow any bigger.

All my love,

Aunt Sarah

3 thoughts on “I Thought I Wanted…

  1. Ah the artist in you is constantly at work. I wonder how many times Leonard da Vinci had to step back for a moment to get a fresh perspective of Mona Lisa- To touch up, rework, smudged his finger prints into the picture, and perhaps even started over while the oil paint was still fresh.

    I wonder just how many times did Johann Sebastian decided to go “Bach to the drawing board”. :-)

    The writer is not any different. Especially the writer who cares and nurishes her work- perhaps even referring to it as her “child”- just to make sure that everything turns out right when that child is ready to step out into the world on its own.

    Besides, you haven’t even considered what the editors are going to do once they get their hand on your “child.”


  2. Ah yes, my third was better than the first, or the second, but I have still not arrived. :) What might work better for you is to bring your dreams to a plotting weekend, in some idyllic setting, and have others help you hash out the intrigue.

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