I began writing at six-thirty this morning. Early for me. The sun was shining. The dog lay at my feet. The house was quiet and still and I was on fire. I was Jane, Eudora, Willa and all of the Bronte sisters rolled into one. My mediocre prose turned to poetry as I revised. Completely engrossed in the Renaissance, the dying whizz of my laptop shocked me. Suddenly, I wasn’t lost in the English countryside, but in my bedroom in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. After sometime I managed to revive my laptop and opened my word document. It read, last auto-saved at 6:50 am.
Almost two hours and 30 pages of revisions lost.
I e-mailed my writing partner to explain why I couldn’t come today. I have to try and recapture what I’ve lost.
She replied, Hope you're able to pull it all back together the way you wanted. A couple of times when this has happened to me I've ended up putting it back together even better.
I didn’t think that could be true in this instance. I’d been flying high, everything was clicking, I was snap, crackle and pop. But, after a long day, as I wrote the final sentence for my book, “Ah, I see you’ve forgotten Sleepy Hallow,” I have to admit Melanie was right. My writing that umpteenth time around, was stronger, punchier, and wittier.
Why is life like that? Why are there constant revisions, even when (or maybe especially when) I think I’m bordering on brilliance? Some people never take a re-do, or at least, so it seems. But me, I’m on a path, I think it’s a great path heading to an even greater destination and then suddenly everything changes and I have to scramble. I try to regroup and refocus (this, by the way, may take years) and then, I discover I’m stronger than I thought. Probably stronger than I ever wanted to be.
Aside from the chapter headings, my novel is done. I think it is my personal best.