Writer’s Remorse

I’ve been blogging for about a month now, and I’m already learning lots about my writing and myself.

Yesterday, I had my first mini-crisis, which in the end was less about my writing and more about my emotions.

I’ve tried to limit the amount of time I spend writing and editing each blog post. If I stress over every entry, I’m never going to get anything published on the site and then all of you will lose interest. More importantly, if it becomes like a second job, I’m afraid I’ll be the one to lose interest.

Then came Thursday’s post—the “Pain in the Ass” entry. The version that is now on this site is very different from the first paragraphs I pounded out. In fact, about six drafts came between the first and the last, and between numbers four and five I had briefly decided to abandon the post altogether.

It wasn’t the writing per se that bothered me. It was the message. The first few drafts were angry and snarky, the next evolved to be preachy, and the two after that went off on a rambling expose that connected the “pain in the ass” comment to another event in the news—the now-infamous fatty blog post on the Marie Claire site.

Even the whole point of the post–how the conversation had affected me–began to change with each pass through it. The first draft attacked the person who called me a pain in the ass; the next two attacked him but made excuses for him; the two after that attacked the Marie Claire blogger for putting me in the frame of mind to be ungenerous about it.

At one point, the blog post was 1200 words. I knew it was time to be done with it.

I had planned to post the entry Wednesday night but I just didn’t feel right about it. I was uncomfortable with words I had used and felt it wasn’t fair to the people in the story, and it also didn’t accurately portray me as a person. So I did something I don’t do too often. I slept on it.

Call me impetuous, but I normally react first and regret later. That night, though, I couldn’t convince myself to post that blog. It just felt wrong.

Thursday morning, after mulling it over and reading it again, I realized that I hadn’t been able to pinpoint exactly what bothered me about the incident, which was why every time I tried to re-tell it, it sounded convoluted and muddled, like I was stretching for a conclusion that just wasn’t there.

When I realized that being called a “pain in the ass” was less about being insulted than it was about the fact that I didn’t stand up for myself I was finally able to re-write the post to my (temporary) satisfaction.

So I rewrote the post again, dramatically, and published it. That’s the version you all read yesterday but I’m still not happy with it.

I’ve finally figured out why: it didn’t stay true to the purpose of this blog, which is to talk about writing, living, the things that inspire me in both, finding creativity in mundane things, and the joy of stupid stuff like garden gnomes.

I have no interest in writing a post about how the world is getting meaner and everyone thinks it’s okay to be a bully and we should all stand together and rant until we bring about world peace.

But I kinda did.

Which is why I tossed and turned since publishing that post, and which is why I’m promising you a much more lighthearted post later today that will hopefully make you (and me) chuckle.

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3 Responses to Writer’s Remorse

  1. Tommy says:

    You can always have one of your NaNoWriMo characters maintain a blog and insert those drafts as their in-story posts.

  2. At my age (old) if it ain’t fun I don’t write it.

    Dr. B

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