December 5, 2015


I just want to by typing tonight.

I have nothing new to say, no words of insight or wisdom that must be written down on this blog tonight. I just need to write, and I need to write something to someone, something that will be read.

I've spent most of today alternating between editing portfolio pieces and wandering the room trying to find something else to do. I wanted to go somewhere, but here in Vermont the sun sets just after 3 and I don't like the idea of walking or riding a bus alone after dark. So I just stayed in my room. Tried unsuccessfully to dye my hair blonde, worked out, read, scrolled through Pinterest Christmas nail ideas.

The truth is, it's exhausting to edit my work. I've been picking at these pieces a little bit throughout the semester, hoping to save myself some work here at the end, but that's not how writing works. I did a ton of edits on this one poem right after I got feedback from the teacher and classmates. I was completely happy with it and would say it was ready to be turned in. But now I read it and feel like there must be more I can fix, words I could change.

The fact is writing is never finished. Or at least mine isn't.

I like to laugh that I am the writer other writers hate. Writers in my classes can spend hours talking about how hard writing is, how much they want to write but can't, how sad they are that they do anything but write. I'm the opposite. I love writing. I write every second I get the chance. I'm intoxicated by the sound of words escaping my mind and finding life of their own.

Of course, the editing is hard. I love it, in one sense. I love looking at a poem that's gone through what feels like a million drafts and seeing how much better it is now. I had this one poem that I loved when I first turned it in. I had spent a lot of time working on it and was so happy with how it sounded.

The teacher sort of tore it apart, as she has done to almost all of my writing, and one of my really good writer friends told me that I really needed to take out the parenthesis in my poem. I loved my parenthesis and I fought him so much, but I took their comments in the back of my mind and started hacking at the poem. My thought: "I'll show them how bad it sounds their way." But as it turned out I found some sort of in between land which was so much better than what I started with. (Without parenthesis. I had to admit that he was right and the parenthesis were definitely holding the poem back.) Sometimes editing hurts, but it's worth it.

I guess there's a life lesson in this too. I think sometimes I need to let God edit me back into what He wants me to be. It hurts sometimes, especially in the times when it feels like everything needs editing at once.

That's where I am with classes. Everything needs fixed. Everything needs work. I start on one project and can't focus because I also should work on this other project and I can't do it all at once and I don't know where to start. Everything needs to be edited.

And honestly, that's where I am with life too. I think there are a lot of areas of my life that need editing, that need work, that need help. I've been holding on to my own kind of parenthesis and fighting so hard without even realizing it. It's not that anything is bad now. My writing isn't bad without another round of edits, but it can be so much better. My life certainly isn't bad. But it can be so much better.

Sometimes I need to allow the red pen and let things change.

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