The Harrowing Experience of Reading Your Own Writing (a Day, a Week, or a Month After the Deed)
by Vincent Mars
Reading what you wrote a day, a week, a month ago can be a most painful experience, one that challenges your patience and sours your mood and makes you question your literary merits. ‘Bloody hell! Have I really written this drivel?’
It is with dread that I read articles, 50-word stories, and especially chapters in my novel (which I hope will make me not rich but immortal). While composing the aforementioned texts, the words seemed right, the phrases tight, the sentences bright. But when I reread them, my oh my!
It’s as if a mischievous imp had his wicked way with my words while I was away, changing adjectives, adding adverbs, ruining the grammar, moving commas, diluting the meaning of the sentences. So much so that I slap my forehead and make speedy preparations for jumping out the window.
What stops me is my fear of heights.
And my love for you, dear readers.
And also the belief that in my muddle of written words there can be observed, from time to time, poetical phrases, beautiful sentences, and thoughtful paragraphs that had somehow escaped the imp and reached you intact.
It’s because of these that I carry on writing and fighting with the imp.
Writing books requires endurance and hard work, there’s no doubt about it.
Talent is so hard to define. We may have it, or we may not.
But hard work… we are all capable of it.
We can rewrite and we can edit until our hands become numb.
And then we can type with our nose.
We must return to those misplaced words and discipline them.
Fire and sword and backspace!
Is it easy for you to read what you wrote a day, a week, a month ago?