Monday, July 16, 2012

Sweatin' to the Oldies

Sunday was a marvelous day for writing.  And after encountering dead-ends in many of my newest writing projects, I decided to dance to the oldies.

I broke out some of my ancient floppy disks, located a half dozen good (but promising and redeemable) pieces, and began revising them.  Over the course of several hours, I had rounded out five science fiction stories--each now highly-marketable and compelling--and also completed several poems-in-progress, an essay for a Preaching magazine, and a few proposals (which I sent along to their respective editors-in-waiting).

In short, Sunday was oldies day.

But dancing to one's oldies is often the most difficult dance of all. Time is a cruel mistress and after months, or even years, in the distillery of the mind a piece of writing can either sing or croon.  Whenever I locate those pieces that still have a voice, I am elated . . . though for the life of me I now have hundreds that I cannot recall with any accuracy of time or place.  I may have written them in the shower for all I know--yet here they are, still waiting for me on those floppies.

A writer should be grateful for the home slush pile.  The larger it is, the more the evidence mounts that the writer has made a life out of words and that these words could matter to someone . . . informing, entertaining, challenging.

But writing is work.  Hard work.  Demanding work.  And yes, there are times when I literally sweat from the toil and the strain of completing a better sentence or crafting the perfect paragraph.  May it never change.

I was glad to lose a few pounds on Sunday.  I actually sweated over my oldies.  And my hope is that someone out there will experience them as new. 

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