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I've been writing for hours. I think I turned on my laptop about 7:00 PM, opened Microsoft Word, and opened a chapter on the odu Obara. Until 11:00 PM, I worked and wrote and rewrote a short story until my fingers hurt and my brain cramped.

It was the worst writing of my life.

Well, perhaps that's an exaggeration. More than likely, it was the second worst thing I’ve written in my life. Still, I can’t bear to stop working on the piece. I cut it; I move it; I rewrite it; I rip it to shreds and then I put it back together again.

Still, the rotten work sits there, taunting me. Somehow, I will make this story “work” the way I want it to work.

When it comes to writing, I think the key is constant rewriting; nothing put on paper is ever right the first time, and even months after a project is over and done, a writer returns to it lamenting every word written. I like what August Wilson said regarding the concept of writing and rewriting:

“Regardless of the medium, rewriting and more rewriting is still necessary. No one gets anything right the first time, and since I don't write with a hammer and chisel, it's relatively easy for me to change. It's just words on paper. Words are free. You don't go to the store and order a pound of words, or five hundred words, and pay your three dollars. They're free.”

That quote sums up this entire blog quite nicely. No one gets anything right the first time. Too bad I'm on my 100th attempt with this story.

Ócháni Lele

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The following comments are for "Writing for hours . . ."
by OchaniLele

Ócháni Lele on writing
Thanks for the quote regarding words being free. Nice.

Time, though, seems to vary greatly in its value and availability.

I agree- seldom is even a very short piece right enough to let go on first writing. ("Serious" writing, that is.)

I read an established poet once who said that he often spent a month or more on a small poem.

But, we do have to let it go, eventually. Emily Dickinson had to die before most hers got out.

I know you will keep pluggin' along.

~ John

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: November 24, 2008 )

"Time, though, seems to vary greatly in its value and availability."

That is a very good thought, and I've pondered my work along those lines several times, especially over my vacation from the hospital.

If I got paid by the hour for the writing I've done to date, instead of by royalties, I would be an obscenely rich man.

However, the satisfaction I have from the work I do far outstrips its monetary value.

Writers are financially stupid people, I tell you!

Ochani Lele

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: November 24, 2008 )

It's much easier to keep one's writing locked up, in a constant state of revision and never a fnished product.

Years ago, I wrote a short story about such a character, and then, when I was "finished" I realized the story was about me.

I'm still that character, always writing and never finished, although somewhere along the way I do find courage to wrap up a project and send it in.

By the way, it's nice to see you back on litdotorg! I thought we'd lost you!

Ochani Lele

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: November 24, 2008 )

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