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Monday, January 25, 2016

On writing: Castaway

It came like a wave, as it usually does, and I gladly let it wash over me and carry me away like a raging river. I took a deep breath and let the water guide me until my lungs screamed for air.

When I surfaced, I didn't find myself in the cold, pale waters of a river but in the vast, deep blue waters of an ocean. And in the back of my mind I knew that I had swum in these waters before.

Rewriting is like being a castaway only that this time you know that you're not going to drown. The deep waters do not scare you and you know that if you swim long enough, there is a raft somewhere around and you just need to find it. 

This time, you'll explore the blue waters and you won't be afraid of the big fish because you know they won't hurt you. You'll take your time and when you're ready you'll head to the shore because you know it lies straight ahead of you. You're not disoriented anymore.
  • When you rewrite don't be tempted to follow the same path you did the first time. Think of this book as a new project and permit yourself to write it from scratch.
  • Your life jacket is the story that is now complete, hold on to it, but don't be afraid swim without it too. There are definitely more to the story that you need to explore.
  • Be bold and dare to go deeper, cut the scenes, even the chapters that don't feel right and rewrite them. Don't be afraid to delete, don't be sentimental.

Believe me, rewriting will set you free.

1 comment:

  1. I bet it'd be so hard to let go of entire chapters knowing the time, effort, and love that went in to writing every word. It's a good reminder to keep though that if you are afraid of getting rid of parts, you may not end up with the best you're capable of.