Sometimes you put writing away for a few weeks, meaning you carry it in your purse, but you don’t look at it. And then some hot day, when you’re alone at the bar waiting for friends to arrive, you find yourself finally pulling the piece that needs editing out and starting to read it, and you see that it’s totally incoherent. (Until that moment you had been smug, but in that moment the scales fall off your eyes and your eyes are flooded with a frightful vision. Your darling little piece is a horrible patchwork of mismatched storyparts. A writing frankenstein. And it’s an ADD little guy, jumping around sideways like an excited bean.)
You behold this little baby frankenstein of yours, and you try to love it anyway, and give it corrective surgery, one procedure at a time. And you pet it, and every time you come back to it, you notice another bad set of stitches, and you restitch again and again. That’s what revision is like.
I have decided to start from scratch on my old age piece. I’ve come up with an outline of a structure. I don’t know if the outline will hold up to the writing process, because when I start to flesh out my outline, my prose starts drifting sideways again.
I should try to love this incredibly un-linear endless process of false starts, but it’s hard mothering Frankenstein day in and day out. Sometimes you want to find a pretty baby in the crib.