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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some Thoughts on the Summertime Grind

I meant to post more about the summertime grind, but I've been so caught up in it that I haven't had time to reflect.

I read somewhere once, I think it was the New York Times Book Review, that a writer must be both boxer and trainer. It struck me as a true statement. With that thought, I've been working on a lot of projects. Some being exercises that may never rise to anything I'd want the public to see and some of it has been shining and polishing prose that I hope to show to you one day.

I feel like I'm going in two different directions at the same time. I'm rewriting old stuff and at the same moment, I'm trying to push in different directions and change my prose style through continuous writing. Revising the old stuff calls on me to mesh the old style with whatever is coming out of me at the present moment. And it's important to make it smooth. Which is difficult.

This time last year. I thought I had finished my novel. It was an amazing feeling to be all done with this thing I had been working on in earnest for five years. It was overwhelming joy--the best joy I felt until my son was born--followed by despair. I mean, the work had been with me through all kinds of things: breakups and reunions and deaths and graduations, etc. I'd always return to The Revelation of Everything. It was sad that it was gone.

But alas, The Revelation is not done. One of my projects, which I have not started yet, is doing a pretty substantive revision of it.

Also, I'm working on a short story collection. Which I am a couple stories from completing a working draft of. And lately I have been writing flash fiction. I had beef with flash fiction for a while, but I'm having a good time writing flash pieces.

I'm going to be doing more blogging about the summertime grind in more specificity as the grind continues.


Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat. It's a nice problem, though, no? Having enough material to be constantly at work, I mean. I'm currently enjoying going back and fixing up some of my old stuff. Gives you a sense of progress to see how far you've come (although this can also be discouraging when you realize how far you probably have to go).

Rion Amilcar Scott said...

Yeah Court, it's definitely a blessing and a curse. But revising the older stuff gets harder when you're in a different state of mind. Do you try to write from the old state of mind? Re-write totally from the new state of mind or try to combine potentially clashing states. It's tough to fiure out which way to go sometimes.

Anonymous said...

It ends up being a mishmash of the two. I'm having mixed results so far.