writing

Rewriting like Sisyphus

“Rewriting” is a word that’s meaning greatly depends on my mood when I hear it. If I feel like I’m riding on top of the world, sure, no problem. You want me to take my literary talent and be even MORE awesome on the page? Of course! Obviously you see talent and potential in the writing, and my job is now just to take your well-founded constructional criticism and use it to shape my piece into something that really gleams.

Other days, it sounds worse than a rejection. With a rejection, there’s no work involved. I just realize I didn’t make the cut and move on with my life. Besides, I can just dismiss that editor as a fool since she didn’t see the potential in my glorious writing. It never would have worked, and it is for the best that I take my writing somewhere that it will be celebrated. Revisions though, rewriting…that means you like what I do, you just don’t think I do it well enough. I want your validation more because you’ve already validated me a little bit. Then I have to toil over a manuscript that I already convinced myself was polished and perfect enough to send out for publication. It’s hard to work up the courage and self-esteem to send something out and then transition into realizing it needs revising and editing and that editors actually are more than simple gatekeepers for literary magazines.

Today, I’m a little in-between mindsets. That is to say, I’m mostly just tired. I want to be really happy that an editor wants to see rewrites from me, but a big part of me is just exhausted. This is for a short piece I’m trying to get out there, but after all the ups and downs with The Neverland Wars and how much I’m still juggling to get that to a passable stage, I’m kind of sick of going back to stories and scraping paragraphs just to put different paragraphs in. I can’t help but think of Camus and his thoughts on Sisyphus. The hill is long, the rock is heavy, and it just keeps going, and going, and going. It is hard to keep in perspective the reality that one day, some day, I will get to the top and all of this will have paid off. I’m so much closer than I ever have been before, with this piece, with The Neverland Wars, with my writing career in general…but it’s still so far away in so many capacities. I guess I’m just lucky that I can see my milestones and count the little victories. As all the effort adds up, I do have a chance to tally it and rejoice in knowing that some reward will eventually find this hardwork.

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