Monday, July 11, 2011

Worry is in the words

Today's guest poster is Kir from The Kir Corner.

The simple act of writing does not worry or cause me agony.

Many times, I have too many ideas, a plethora of words to use, a stockpile of memories to tap into. What causes me angst is the simple act of hitting the publish button.

Recently I heard Bono give an interview during the new opening of Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. He was discussing the differences in composing music for a crowd of 10,000 and for a Broadway audience of 500.

He lamented the fact that once you write music for a Broadway score, you hand it over to be interpreted exactly the same way night after night after night. The songs must convey the same emotions, be sung in the same key in the same sequence. There are no changes. You just have to believe in it as it is.

He compared it to touring and how U2’s live shows could be changed to suit the band, the audience, the venue. Set lists are open to interpretation, songs normally done one way can be handled acoustically or not done at all, he can tweak, rearrange and handle them until it “feels right”

This is how writing feels for me.

While my words sit in draft or review they are safe; from criticism, from critiquing myself and from wondering about the “what ifs”.

I can tear a piece apart.

Write and Rewrite.

Use my thesaurus and Elements of Style. Sit and read it out loud, primping it like a debutante before her coming out.

Once I hit publish, I hate being hit with a revelation, or worse, being at the mercy of all those other thoughts, opinions and eyes.

Before I started writing for The Red Dress Club, I never considered myself a writer.
I enjoyed writing. End of story.

But in the last few months, I feel myself evolving into one.

I still rewrite a piece over and over again, swapping one word for another, or a whole paragraph for something tighter and fluent, but I am beginning to think that is the part that is helping me grow - sure, it’s painful, but I’m guessing that is precisely the point.

To stretch beyond myself.

To use napkins, notebooks, pen and paper or scribble on tiny scraps when a thought hits or a puzzle piece glides gently into place.

For all the roadblocks to my writing; time, word limits, even prompts; there are the good, fantastic moments where I find the perfect sentence, the word that finishes a piece. That is the happiest of times for me, to see my talent on the page.

Tell me: do you agonize over your words, do you use things like a thesaurus or writing books and how do you feel once you’ve hit publish?

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