Writing, or I Want a Margarita and I Want it Now

margaritaSince I teach writing, I make it a point to write regularly. No, not just blogging (where I’m not exactly regular), but writing for publication:  writing that will be evaluated by others, just as my students’ writing is evaluated by their peers and by me. 

I usually try to submit an essay or article a year, sometimes more.  And I tell my students, too, sharing my progress on my essays,  as I show them the various strategies for developing ideas, drafting, revising and editing.

Yesterday, as she left my office after a rather cheerful discussion of a fairly decent  rough draft, a student asked me (not without a bit of a smirk): “So, how’s YOUR essay coming along? You haven’t mentioned it lately.”

Well. She’s right. That’s because it was still stuck in that early process stage, or 13 pages of notes and ideas in not quite any logical order (the “down draft” or “child’s draft” according to Anne Lamott). This for an article with a 1000-word limit.  So today (a holiday in our state) I’ve been focusing on selecting, organizing and editing.  I’m down to 6 pages now–about 3 pages too much–but it’s nicely readable.

Yet, it’s also at that stage where the editing can get a bit painful. I LIKE my ideas, my words. You mean I have to keep cutting?

So I thought I’d spend a few hundred words complaining here instead.

Now that I’m finished, however, I need to go sharpen my knife editor’s pencil.

Is it happy hour somewhere yet?

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7 responses to “Writing, or I Want a Margarita and I Want it Now

  1. It is always happy hour in Revisionland.

    (And were you intentionally quoting Big Chill? That’s such a great film. Thumbs up.)

    What did you say to her? 🙂

  2. Alas, yes: I’m a Big Chill fan from way back (“I COULD have, I CHOSE not to; I’m not hung up on this completion thing.”—didn’t EVERYone in the 1980s/90s quote this line while writing their dissertation?).

    I believe I said, “hoidohdfoad;ifh” and she grinned wildly.

    It’s most definitely happy hour HERE now (down to 1700 words: lots of blood, but I think the patient will live.)

  3. Really Squadra: oysters and a martini, my favoriet meal? I’m jealous, envious, green literally.

    But yes, one margie, salted and on the rocks coming up!

  4. I sometimes wish I could take all the writing I’ve cut from publications and smoosh them together into one final treatsie called “Everything They Made Me Delete, But I Liked It Damnit” to be published posthumously of course.

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