This guilty feeling has been lingering in the back of my mind over the last week. I didn’t want to pay attention to it, but it kept poking at me, demanding attention like a needy child.
With that said, I have to confess–I’ve been revising all of my published pieces. And not just one or two words here or there, I’ve completely reworked line breaks, added and removed whole passages, and changed descriptive images. Being new to blogging, I’m not sure what socially acceptable rules are in place, and I’m a firm believer that you need to know the rules before you break them. Nonetheless this time, I’m pretty sure I’m breaking an unwritten rule. I think I understand this behaviour is uncultivated. However, in my defense, this journey began as a personal challenge to put a creative piece of work on paper everyday, and I am loving this challenge. What I don’t love is the feeling my pieces need more time and space for that finished feel, because of their creative nature.
Thankfully, as I start week three, I’ve smartened up and have multiple posts in draft form as we speak. I still wonder though, if like a meth addict I won’t continue to return to those finished pieces. I also can’t help but excuse this addiction because of the nature of my blog. I’m not reporting current news here people, I’m spilling my life and soul and perspective onto the page. Sometimes, I don’t even know what my lines mean, and they’re my own. I have to sit on them and chew for awhile to figure the pacing and the break and the image and the connection and the rhythm and meter. Maybe if I was a better writer, this would come easier to me, but it doesn’t, so I guess I have to accept my dysfunctional literacy.
As usual, I have to find those renowned voices who can support my instability. One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, comforts me with her thoughts on revision:
What matters is that you consider what you have on the page as an unfinished piece of work that now requires your best conscious and patient appraisal.
-A Poetry Handbook
Thank you Mary, I agree. With my ‘best conscious’ and patience, my best lines come after, long after, I throw down the bones. Lines like the following:
Their cult and creed grew from a ditch,\revenge their one resolve.
(The Lake County Wars)
hidden below\ the floorboards of my mind
(by the pen)
I’m slurring it clearly\so they know I am fine
(My Words is Liars)
The long nights when parents reminisced with friends and family clumsily spilling my truth.
Now I couldn’t find anything that excused my revision addiction after publishing. Like a true addict, no one will agree with me. I guess I’m going to just have to stand my ground. What good is self-publishing, if I can’t make some of my own rules?
As we head into another challenging week, I’d love to hear your perspective on this subject or your best lines and what it took to get them written? Remember to share the line and give a link to your blog in your reply.