Definitely a mouse

Today the blog writing did not go well. It didn’t go to plan.

annie dillard

So I read some Annie Dillard, which I share below, and this blog writer becomes a blog reader once more,

When you write, you lay out a line of words. the line of words is a miner’s pick, a wood-carver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow.  Soon you find yourself deep in new territory.  is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow or this time next year.

(from, Annie Dillard, The Writing Life)

I have a file of fifty prospective blog posts and other writings in between and today none of them seemed fit for purpose. Firstly, I self disclose too much.  Secondly my theology has holes in it.  Thirdly it is madness that I would ever consider putting myself out there to an audience. I should write for myself this little audience of one, that or not at all.

No sympathy, please.

This is my experience of writing so far: the thing looks good, whole and needed when it is in your head, but that does not account for what happens between the head and the travelling via pen to the page.

So far I have found this helps a little: move the opening of the piece to a place part way through and adding a carefully chosen quote from something or someone with authority. Cut paste, delete and copy.  Be ruthless with any word, sentence or paragraph that can not earn its keep. Really ruthless: gone. Take a walk, make some coffee, re-read. This is not editing, this is art.  First it’s difficult, then it’s impossible, then it’s done. Suddenly the piece can be recognised as the thing from inside my head, in fact it could be better the piece from inside the head.  Done.

But this did not happen today.

untitled

So I read some more Annie Dillard, which I share below, and this blog writer becomes a blog reader once more,

You must demolish the work and start over,  You can save some of the sentences, like bricks.  It will be a miracle if you can save some of the paragraphs, no matter how excellent in themselves or hard-won.  You can waste a year worrying about it, or you can get it over with now. ( Are you a woman or a mouse?)

(from, Annie Dillard, The Writing Life)

 

Definitely, a mouse.

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