What’s the best thing I've ever written? That all depends on when you ask me.
Some days, the words bubble up and spill out of the keyboard like the water from that leaky sprinkler my husband had to fix last week. There’s nothing like that feeling when I’m in the zone, creating scenes and spouting dialogue, my fingers flying across the keyboard at record speed. That’s when I think, “Man, this is the stuff. I’ve never written anything better.” Eventually, the words dry up and I wrap up my writing for the day, giving myself a mental pat on the back before heading off to make dinner or catch up on the piles of laundry I’ve been ignoring.
But, alas, that sense of accomplishment is fleeting. When I sit down the next day to review my work, I immediately start to spot the problem areas. The stilted conversations, the flat descriptions, it’s all there. Why did I think these words were so fantastic the day before? This drivel isn’t fit for readers’ eyes.
Conversely, I’ve had days where I had to squeeze out each individual word like it was one of the last blobs of toothpaste from an almost empty tube. During those times, I’ll usually stop work early, completely fed up with my lack of wordsmithing skills. I’ll slam the lid on my laptop with a frustrated sigh and wonder how I ever got caught up in this writing business in the first place.
But something magical usually takes place overnight. When I reread those paltry passages the next morning, I discover that they’re not nearly as bad as I’d thought. I mean, sure, they’re not going to win me any prizes, but some of the paragraphs are often salvageable. With a snip here and a tuck there, I can morph those words into something halfway decent.
With these vacillating opinions from one day to the next, I don’t think I’m the best judge of my work. Instead, I’ll leave that up to the readers and go eat a nice turkey dinner instead.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!