Writer’s Block and the Edit Monster

I stole this image from everyjoe.com Editor brain!

My first word was, “No!”

I have neither shut up, nor been agreeable from that moment on. I often argue as the devil’s advocate, just to keep a conversation going. I almost invariably get the last word in. And, if you believe my parents, once I started talking, the house wasn’t quiet until I learned to write. Then I shut my mouth because what was in my head came out on paper instead.

Mom kept my first story – a crazy half page tale about a horse and a magic bucket. I stumbled across it while I was cleaning out their house. It was complete with a crude drawing of a blue and purple horse.

One thing I have never been is at a loss for words. They are just always there.

They have gotten me into and out of fights, expelled from school and into a better one. Kept me from being fired after nearly getting me there. They’ve gotten innumerable of people angry at me, and helped just as many get through being angry at others. Words can be both weapon and balm, and I use them in every way possible.

Until Saturday.

I got a unicorn on Saturday. Two hours, uninterrupted, in which I could do whatever I wanted. No errands to run, no kiddo to pull out of the knife drawer. How’s that for a magical gift? Time, to do whatever I want.

And naturally, I wanted to write.

I opened one of my works in progress, settled in with a cup of coffee and stared at the words already on the page. The silence of no keys being struck brought out a nice choir of crickets, but no words. Hmmm. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for that one.

Close it and open another. Still nothing.

My head was whirling, I had plenty of ideas, lots of words up there but nothing that felt right on the page.

Maybe that was the problem. Maybe my head just wasn’t in fiction mode, or in the mood to juggle the tongue twisting children’s rhymes.

Blog. That’s kind of where I put all of the random contents of my head. Maybe if I pour out some of the strange marbles rolling around up there I’ll be able to dive in.

Still nothing.

Whoa. Wait a minute. This is starting to freak me out a little bit. It’s like a part of me has been abducted.

I closed everything down before panic could set in. But when I opened things back up on Sunday morning the same thing happened.

I slammed it all closed again and decided to take a day off from words. I brought the little out for some craft supplies and came home to make some Christmas tree ornaments.

And somewhere in that process I think I discovered the problem.

The WIPs I was trying to proceed with? They are winding down in build mode, soon to take off into the world of revisions, of illustrations, of other people’s involvement.

I hate revisions. I hate editing.

And the blog? People are actually reading it. Commenting on it. Sharing some entries with friends in email links. It’s kind of like having an audience watching my unedited internal monologue.

So now I feel like I have to edit myself. Which is no good during the first draft stage, but even worse on the blog. I don’t edit the blog. Ever. There are no revisions, no care taken for the feelings of others, no language restrictions.

If I want to say, fuck, I say it. If I want to call out my brother for being an ass cactus for his less than active participation in my mother’s care, I do. I have called my son an idiot. You will also find the word me where you should see the word my, less than stellar sentence structure, spastic punctuation and the occasional random sentence fragment. And I like to make up words, so a lot of the time I don’t even bother with spell-check.

The blog is always first draft equals final presentation.

So in order for this to continue, I have to pretend that none of you are here. I can not care what you think of my lousy grammar, my occasionally crappy attitude, my over abundance of parenthetical explanations, or my foul language.

The audience has gotten into my brain, and you all are blocking the door. So I’ll be cramming you all back in a closet, you can hang out with the combination to my gym locker and the location of my spare set of keys. There’s other stuff in there to play with, so you won’t be bored, but I can’t let you clog up the main passage.

Once I hit Save I’ll let you back out.





5 thoughts on “Writer’s Block and the Edit Monster

  1. “The blog is always first draft equals final presentation.” This couldn’t be more true. I think this is the beauty and also the downfall of blogging. When I just write for me, the words come so easy–when I feel like I’m writing for an audience, I panic and shut down.


  2. I like your technique. The formality of writing correctly and well makes writing awkward. Hooray carefree writing!

    Typos are the butterflies of writing. (What does that even mean? I have no idea, but I already wrote it and I’m not going to do anything about it!)


  3. Pingback: Slaying the Edit Monster and Getting Lost in the Kitchen | Rant Rave Write for GroupThink

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