The Pain and Pleasure of Revision (Quote of the Day)
What I want to know is: what kind of crack was this guy smoking when he said this?
Seriously though, anyone who has ever written a novel—heck, anyone who's ever written a postcard—knows that revising and editing can be tedious. Hellacious. Torturous. You stare at a screen or a piece of paper until your eyes are about to fall out, trying to decide whether you've used the word "is" too much and debating with yourself about comma usage. It can be absolute misery.
But then you reach the last page. You have one final battle with a semicolon, and you're done. The original word count has been whittled down by about 10,000, and when you go back to the beginning and start reading—by golly—it doesn't sound like a soap opera on paper anymore. Suddenly, that mess you wrote is a neat mess; a structured mess; perhaps even not a mess at all. It's become something enjoyable to read, and as you enjoy it, you realize: I did this. This is something I created and perfected: the culmination of all my hard work. And it's good.
That's where the "exquisite pleasure" comes in—not necessarily in the act of dismantling and repiecing your writing, but in the knowledge that with every change, you're crafting a better story. When you revise, you know you can handle the pain, drudgery, and exhaustion it so often takes to create beauty. Writing makes you feel like an artist, but revising makes you feel like a professional.
Isn't it wonderful that writers can be both?
Today's Prompt: Create your own superhero. In this hero's world, crime is at an all time low. For over a month, he/she has had nothing to do except his/her day job—no people to save; no bad guys to fight; no need to put on the cape. Write about this dry spell and how your superhero handles it.