Yesterday I described myself as a “writer” when I was asked by a stranger, ‘What do you do?”
And yesterday I truly felt like one. I spent all day and I mean alllll day on one column. It’s a new project for a new employer and I had sent them an unfinished, rough copy of what I was working on for a reaction. The reaction? Needs to be smoothed and finished! So I set about making what I thought were the necessary repairs. Did I mention that I spent all day on it?
The finished product is an unpublishable mess. The biggest issue, truly, is the topic. It’s too newsy, too current with too many transitions for commentary in a magazine. And it’s too touchy a subject to make light of right now, which is what I was attempting to do. My gut feeling told me I had missed my target by a country mile but I asked my in-house editor for his opinion. He gently confirmed my suspicions. But I’m proud of myself for my reaction. Sure, it bummed me out and I gave myself a ten minute pity party (OK, fifteen minutes) but I knew immediately that I’d have to simply suck it up, abandon that particular piece of work and call it experience. This morning I started fresh and I think I have created something worth spilling some ink on.
Writing is really not such an easy job. Fresh ideas aren’t growing on trees and making them worth reading takes effort and sweat. You’ve really got to want to challenge yourself and you absolutely have to love working with the language. Fortunately for me, I say “yes” to both requirements.