I’ve always wanted to write. As soon as I understood what writing was, I remember wanting to write. This came from a love of reading. But I never really understood what it meant to write. I never knew what I had to put into it. What kind of passion and perseverance it took. I misunderstood my wanting to write and how completely inadequate wanting is. Wanting isn’t enough. I need to have a need to write. That’s the thing. What I want doesn’t matter. Wants don’t matter. I’m not the kind of person that chases wants. I work for wants, steady as she goes. I’m patient for wants. But I need to need to write. Needs are something we don’t give up on. Needs aren’t put off for another day. I need to write. (If that all makes sense to you, I’m impressed. And please explain it to me.)
I had a great day writing. I wrote some really good stuff. Probably the best I’ve written in months. I read it aloud to myself. It sounded good, it felt right. It’s probably still crap, but it made my day. I’ve been rewriting a completed short story. It’s a story that I feel is lacking, it could be better, oh so much better. I’ve worked on it on and off for almost two years. It keeps nagging at me because it feels weak. Feels? Hell no, it is weak. People have read it, they were nice and said they liked it, but they always say nice things. Who wants to be my dream crusher? But it never felt whole to me. It feels like a car with only three wheels, no seats, and no windshield. I started another class two weeks ago, fiction writing. I have to write two complete stories for the semester, along with about ten weekly papers. I volunteered to be in the first group for work-shopping our stories. (Next week I’m going to volunteer to go play on the freeway!) I decided to use this same short that I keep meaning to fix. My problem is that in the current state, it didn’t meet the minimum length requirement. Which really isn’t a problem. It’s a much needed kick in the ass.
I now have a deadline, so I sat down today and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I doubled the length, with content that enhances the story. I know, doubling content doesn’t equate to improvement. But I got in touch with my characters. I felt their lives, their pain, and their desires. I finished for the day and went back and read what I had written. I was bursting with pride. I think it’s some of the best I have written. I know, it’s just my opinion, but I hate a lot of the crap I write. I have files and files of the crap that I write. I felt like spiking my laptop in the end zone. I read it, and I love it. That’s scary. The new stuff seems good, but the older stuff is, well, it’s crap. Time for a complete rewrite.