Before you judge or scream in agreement, hear me out. For my entire life, I have walked the unorthodox path of revising as you go. I was told many times (too many to count) that I must brainstorm (writing that down), then come up with a first draft, and continuing on this cycle until I have 15 piles of drafts before the final copy. Now the age of computers came along and made this a slightly more organized process. You can now put all of your drafts in a neat little folder on the computer instead of on your desk.
At the same time, the generation growing up with computers became reliant on things like spell check, delete button, and backspace. Yes, technically we can do that by hand, but there is something liberating about being able to alter your text in a split second. If I were to use none of those my sentences would look horrendour and I would never be able to delete thw words I didn’t want to say…^See!! Backspace is a gift from above bringing endless joys of the modern writer.
To make matters worse, the perfectionist in me doesn’t allow me to wait until I’m done writing a sentence before I’ve figured out another way to write it. Inventive? Sure. Efficient? Not really. It doesn’t help one bit that I keep going back over everything I’ve just written rather than moving forward. I would love to have the dozens of drafts that some writers have stocked up.
So, the process for my short story “Somewhere” is going pretty damn slow. I have revisions from my mentor, a plan for improvements to the story, and not enough time in the day. The focus of my revisions is on getting inside the head of my characters. But how do I get inside the head of a character who is supposed to be me? I mean, I should know myself, right? Apparently, an alternate version of myself is a lot harder to tap than what I thought.
I have learned so much about my fears and expectations for myself. It’s hard to imagine my life without writing. It opens so many doors for me to discover things about myself. I hope my character develops the more I revise, but I have more hope for my own growth. Writing is definitely the best way to learn about yourself without meaning to.