So far, lacklustre July has gone off 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 that 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 are almost ready to leave home. They are about to be out there, all alone, in the big, wide world, under the critical literary eyes of many. 😳
Like any mother, I will anxiously wait to hear news of 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, other than 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 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, 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, but, you know what? Every time I grit my teeth and start that one last edit, it never is. 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 every word. But that’s almost good enough. Probably not.
My vocabulary seems to need a boost, as I needed to be reminded this morning that a ‘squib’ is a short piece of satirical writing. As I believe that ‘squibbing’ is probably my forte, and I’m in dire need of a break from editing, I am going to escape for a while and partake 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.