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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My favorite part of writing

Writing often feels like a slog. Uphill and pointless. 

My niece Trina once asked us, after a family hike, "Am I alone in feeling that was a TOTAL waste of time? We trudged around in the dirt for two hours and ended up back exactly where we started. We could have watched so much Buffy instead of -- what was that?!"

Some writing  days, like today for me, I feel just that way. The minutes tick by and there I am, still on page 6 of my revision, fussing with sentences, wondering if I really should just chuck it and go outside -- because for goodness sake it is February and 60 degrees and sunny out in NYC. How often does that happen?

But today I sat, and fussed and edited and trudged around in the wordy dirt and changed and deleted and wrote and deleted, lather rinse repeat -- and just now it happened. My favorite part of writing:

A moment came into focus that had been kind of vague and blurry before. A saggy sentence, in its fifteenth or maybe fiftieth iteration, worked.

A good sentence, true and real.

It sounds like crazy compensation for missing sunshine on a gorgeous day. But when it works, there's nothing quite as glorious as a sentence.

And the sun is still shining. Might go out and grab a bit of that now.

What makes you feel that way? Which trudging is worth it to you?

Rachel Vail

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