Do you remember that game from your childhood? I don’t but my daughter had it and we played it. She wasn’t the best loser. Okay, she was a terrible loser. It’s hard not to let your child win but you do them more favors by letting them lose every so often.
That message carries over to life and to writing, too. Move three squares forward. Roll the dice. Move forward one step. Roll the dice. Slide back 5 spaces. GAH!
For every success in a writer’s life, there is a backslide. At least in mine. I have gotten really good news lately and yet, I am still going back and picking up the pieces at times.
I still struggle with grammar more than I feel I should.
I still dangle my modifers.
I still get tenses wrong.
I do not want to talk about LIE/LAY and PASSED/PAST. I avoid those words when I can. ROFL.
I overwrite and must go back and cut and shave.
Purple prose is my favorite color.
Should I collapse on the floor and roll around in tears screaming IT’S NOT FAIR!?
No. It didn’t work for my daughter and it doesn’t work for me. So I sulk a bit, moan a bit, grumble to myself and my Cps but I move on. No one can write this story but me. There is no magic grammar fairy or enchanted fluff eraser who is going to swoop into my manuscript overnight and fix all my mistakes. That is my job, the boring part of writing, the part that make a story a book.
Do I like it? Hell no. I wish I could spew words out and have them be perfect each and every time on the first round. Doesn’t work that way though. It is kinda like a game. You have to make it through the little squares on the board to claim the title of WINNER. Sure, you may end up ahead at some point but one wrong card and Boom! you are back in Molasses Swamp covered in goo.
The best thing I have discovered so far is to keep plowing forward. If you are stuck, keep going. If you are behind someone else, keeping going. If you hit a good patch, full steam ahead.
And just when you think you see the winner’s circle, guess what? There is Clue and Sorry and Monopoly and Life and Risk. WOW, those last two sound scary, don’t they? But they are fun and engaging and well worth the time spent. You walk away each time being a better player.
I m getting better at grammar than I was in the beginning.
I am working on those pesky modifers.
I really work at tenses.
I still don’t get LAY/LIE and PASSED/PAST but someday…
I am learning to be more concise.
Purple prose is filtering out as fast as I can.
I may not win every time but I will never be a loser. Keep playing the game! WRITE!