The best lines come after

This guilty feeling has been lingering in the back of my mind over the last week. I didn’t want to pay attention to it, but it kept poking at me, demanding attention like a needy child.

With that said, I have to confess–I’ve been revising all of my published pieces. And not just one or two words here or there, I’ve completely reworked line breaks, added and removed whole passages, and changed descriptive images. Being new to blogging, I’m not sure what socially acceptable rules are in place, and I’m a firm believer that you need to know the rules before you break them. Nonetheless this time, I’m pretty sure I’m breaking an unwritten rule. I think I understand this behaviour is uncultivated. However, in my defense, this journey began as a personal challenge to put a creative piece of work on paper everyday, and I am loving this challenge. What I don’t love is the feeling my pieces need more time and space for that finished feel, because of their creative nature.

Thankfully, as I start week three, I’ve smartened up and have multiple posts in draft form as we speak. I still wonder though, if like a meth addict I won’t continue to return to those finished pieces. I also can’t help but excuse this addiction because of the nature of my blog. I’m not reporting current news here people, I’m spilling my life and soul and perspective onto the page. Sometimes, I don’t even know what my lines mean, and they’re my own. I have to sit on them and chew for awhile to figure the pacing and the break and the image and the connection and the rhythm and meter. Maybe if I was a better writer, this would come easier to me, but it doesn’t, so I guess I have to accept my dysfunctional literacy.

As usual, I have to find those renowned voices who can support my instability. One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, comforts me with her thoughts on revision:

What matters is that you consider what you have on the page as an unfinished piece of work that now requires your best conscious and patient appraisal.

-A Poetry Handbook

Thank you Mary, I agree. With my ‘best conscious’ and patience, my best lines come after, long after, I throw down the bones. Lines like the following:

Their cult and creed grew from a ditch,\revenge their one resolve.
(The Lake County Wars)

hidden below\ the floorboards of my mind
(by the pen)

I’m slurring it clearly\so they know I am fine
(My Words is Liars)

The long nights when parents reminisced with friends and family clumsily spilling my truth.
(Dissonance)

Now I couldn’t find anything that excused my revision addiction after publishing. Like a true addict, no one will agree with me. I guess I’m going to just have to stand my ground. What good is self-publishing, if I can’t make some of my own rules?

As we head into another challenging week, I’d love to hear your perspective on this subject or your best lines and what it took to get them written? Remember to share the line and give a link to your blog in your reply.

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3 thoughts on “The best lines come after

  1. Revising your work is, indeed, almost addicting. But someone (I’m not sure who) once said that there comes a time when a piece belongs so firmly within the tine frame in which it was written, that to revise/re-edit/rework it becomes almost counterproductive. His point was that if you are to grow, you must reach a point where it is no longer productive to continually return to the past.
    Take that for what it’s worth. You’re on week three, for goodness sakes. Don’t get too caught up in what others say, and you’ll be just fine. If it bothers you too much, then perhaps a ‘disclaimer header’ on your home page, to alert new readers about what you are doing might be in order.
    If the writing is for you, then do not bother with the ‘fashion police’ who say you can’t do this or that. In another six months, everyone will be doing what you have been doing all along. That’s how fashion goes. You begin on the outside; and if you couldn’t care less about getting to the inside, they’ll beat your doors down, trying to enlist you.
    Whether you want to be drafted or not…
    Real art should never be merely fashionable.
    Just my humble two pennies worth…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those, my friend, are powerful words. The idea that our writing is meant to frame the ever changing times our lives holds equal importance to valuing the patience for the right words or structure. Thank you for sharing that perspective. It’s a powerful consideration.

      Like

      • Like I said; just my two cents worth…
        Can’t even buy gum with that, anymore.
        Penny candy is like… a quarter…
        We really need to adjust our colloquialisms for inflation…
        “Hey, that’s just my ‘a-buck-two-thrity-seven’s worth’ of thought…”

        Liked by 1 person

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