Thursday, October 28, 2010

internal editor

Really, I've been trying to write.

I sit here with my fingers diligently hovering over the keys, and I admit it's not ideal since the LCD screen on my laptop died, and I had to rig up this old monitor from ten years ago so that I can see what I'm doing, and none of it fits on my nice, new desk anymore that I had all set up so that I wouldn't have to go to physical therapy anymore, which was costing a lot of money and also made me feel stupid since my nerves or whatever would never hurt while I was there...

What is your point, and would you get to it, please?

So I thought I'd write about how my sixth grade class is going to participate in the Young Writers' Program for National Novel Writing Month, and how exciting it is and how excited I am and how excited they are and how exciting everything is, but like, really.  So it's exciting. 

Oh brilliant.  Who cares?

And then that kind of fizzled out because how many times can I say the word exciting?

Oh, good, you did it one more time just to be extra stupid.

And so I dredged about in my brain for two hundred and fifty words about a boy and a ghost and a summer camp, which is the absolute minimum I'm going to let myself get away with writing each day--

And where are those words tonight, hm? I mean, you had those two ridiculously awful paragraphs written earlier this evening, but thankfully you understood my significant throat-clearing sound and my exaggerated eye-rolling and deleted them quickly, before they had a chance to ruin the rest of your story, which pretty much sucks anyway, but not as much as it did with those paragraphs...

Look, I'm trying to blog here.  This isn't real writing, okay?  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It doesn't always have to be interesting and creative and funny and thought-provoking or whatever.  Sometimes I can just write about my life and my family and--

--and bore everyone.  

--and it doesn't matter, okay?  It doesn't matter that those last two paragraphs of my ghost story WIP were awful or that I'm not sure how this scene ends or that I keep wanting to write a post inspired by last night's #yalitchat about LGBTQ books and about how I never set out to write a book about a girl who discovers she's a lesbian or bisexual or about how her accidental coming-out might impact her minister father or her dead mother or her best friend, but how I simply wanted to write a book about a journey, and about love--love that is real even though it's precarious and fragile and too soon and too complicated and how the inevitability of separations makes this love more precious than ever.  And I wanted to write about how the girl has to open up to love, even though that means opening up to the possibility of loss, and how that has little to do with sexuality and everything to do with humanity.

But you would mess it up.  You would start off on some weird tangent and end up talking about grizzly bears or that time that Monkey kissed your cheek while you were yelling at him, and it would get all jumbled and distorted and wrong.  So you'd better not write that.  In fact, you shouldn't write at all.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe next week, you'll be smarter, and the words will come out perfect. 

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love hearing your head, Elissa. (now goodnight to both of you) ily

Kate Hart said...

Let's tell your editor voice and my editor voice to go on a nice long vacation together. One way ticket to anywhere but here. Deal?

Kristan said...

Lol oh lordy, get that Internal Editor a drink.

But this reminds me of exactly why I can't wait to read MORNING STAR. :)

elissa said...

@anon, thanks for that. I know you are somewhat biased in your love of my crazy head. :)

@kate, DEAL!! I'll book the flight now.

@kristan, thanks so much! I'm starting to get to the panicky stage like it's occurring to me that people may actually read my book...or worse, they WON'T! :)

cathellisen said...

gah, I hate the internal editor so much.

*stabs it for you*

Jen said...

I hate italics now. they are so mean to you, who is so great. :(

mostlyanonymous said...

Hey. You should've done that while I was at Washburn. Gosh. I'm drying up in a pile of never ending informative essays.

Kristan said...

Crud, I wish I had been there for that #yalitchat (I never remember them anymore!! b/c it's my writing time...) because I just fleshed out a novel that deals with bullying and a little bit with LGBT issues, and I had NO idea that was where I'd be taking the story when I first conceived of it.

Kristan said...

Also: MY MEMORY IS AWFUL. Apparently I commented on this post before?

Well, funny enough, I hadn't conceived of the new book yet. It really just came together over the past week or two.