Well begun is half done

theendAs I write this (Sunday afternoon), the Hippie is still pounding away at the keyboards and Chuck is being distracted by every little thing that floats through the garage. Me? I just wrote “the end” and considering I didn’t even have an idea when I crawled out of bed, I’m all proud of myself.

But it’s not really “the end.”

I know that.

It’s only the beginning.

Because while we locked Chuck in the garage with us, everyone with their own headphones to tune the others out, and forced him to write something to submit to one of the two anthos Bob & I are working on, I know so very well that when I told him to stop editing and rearranging and farting around and just write it so he could “unfuck it later,” I meant it. For both of us.

I may have won the race to “the end” for the day, but I also know that I’ll have more editing to do than the Hippie. I’m ok with that. That rat-bastard writes some pretty pretty words. They’re graceful and crisp and usually not bad out the gate, because he edits as he goes to some extent. Or at least slows down and chooses his words more carefully. I don’t. I can’t.

It’s a learned behavior.

I’m used to writing in chaos, so I just have to get it down as fast as possible—before I’m interrupted—and plan to fix it later. When I write, it’s a free-for-all blur of apocalyptic proportions in an attempt to beat the muse to the finish line. And I’m good with that. Whoever told me, once upon a time, to “unfuck it later” was dead on. Just get it down.

Well, it’s down. Now what?

Ohhh now I walk away for a day or two and then go read the atrocity. Because that’s what it will be. It will be horrible, with kernels of brilliance, which I will spin and twist, edit, delete, rewrite and rearrange until it’s a nice mellow mix of good and great and something I’m happy submitting. Of course, this will be a touch more painful than normal because it occurred to me, after “the end”, that it needs to be first person not third, so that will be the first round of edits, long before the rest begin.

Welcome to my reality check blog. While it’s a form of commiseration with other writers, new & old, that will nod and agree in silent suffering while their own muses beat them, the blog is a reminder to myself. It’s meant to yank my sorry ass off the “woohoo, the end” high horse and remind myself I am not done. Yes, I wrote “the end” but it’s never the end. After I “unfuck it,” I’ll send it to pre-readers, who will whine and complain and make me fix it again. Then, after submission and acceptance, there’s edits from the publisher. And unfortunately, sometimes, after publication, when we revisit, we wish we could edit it one last time.

I know all this.

But I also know it feels damn good to write “the end” on any story, of any length. It’s the screaming cry of the newborn after hours of labor. I just have to wipe the blood off before I can hug it…

Thoughts? Tell me what you think...

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