So far, July has been a bit of a damp squib. I was bordering on hyper during June. Honing and buffing the stories that have taken me months and years to write, so I could meet the deadlines for various competitions. I also started submissions again, approaching any literary agents who mention the word humour, somewhere, anywhere, on their wishlist. My excuse as to why not much blogging got done in June 2020.
Giving birth to both my book babies were memorable experiences. Both of them have made me laugh, and cry, sometimes hysterically, although not necessarily at the same time. And now, they have left home. They are out there all alone, in the big, wide world, under the critical literary eyes of many. 😳
Like any mother, I now anxiously wait for news of my first and second born. I want them to do well in the world, but have I polished them sufficiently to float someone else’s boat, apart from my own? If I haven’t, I will still love them, and revert to Plan B. Chatting up my self-published friends asking them for tips about how to follow them down their chosen route.
In 2015 I decided to have one last stab at becoming a better writer. I was still naive enough to think the writing process was just sitting down at a keyboard and bleeding; to coin the famous Hemingway quote. Well, it’s not. Writing is a continuous process of editing and more editing if you have any hope of getting it right – better, at least. As author C. K. Webb so succinctly puts it, which also involves some blood-shedding.
“Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity… edit one more time!”
The insanity part, I totally concur with, each time I gird my loins to start that one last edit, and it never is quite the last. As for, memorizing every last word, I can, almost, but not quite. I can remember where random sentences are in a sea of 95,000 words, but maybe not individual words. But is almost good enough? Probably not.
My vocabulary seems to be in need of a boost. I only found out this morning that ‘squib’ also means a short piece of satirical writing. As I am in dire need of a break from editing, I plan to escape for a while and undertake a little squib-writing therapy.
July may have got off to a lacklustre start, but here’s hoping all future squibs will be tinder-dry.