This Fragile State

I have been editing this week.  I must tell you, it has been an interesting process.  To look at the literary value of your life and say that it’s not acceptable has a rather interesting effect.  And in the event that I have not mentioned this, the book I recently finished is a memoir.

Knowing that if I look a little deeper, I can actually better convey the point I am trying to make with even more clarity is encouraging.  Last night at my writer’s group meeting I had offered up for review the chapter that was the most difficult to write.  I wanted to get it right.  I didn’t want to revisit this scenario again and have to try coming at it from a different angle.

Other than a few technical aspects, I was applauded as having produced some of my best writing to date.

And now I sit here, with tears  wanting to fall.  And I don’t know why.  Is it relief that I don’t have to visit this again, other than the technical adjustments?  I don’t know.  This one had me nervous.  Only one other person had read this chapter.  Was it too heavy?  Was it too emotional?  Was it too………….?

To take one of the most painful and disturbing moments of your life and present it in a way that has a certain eloquence and grace to it isn’t easy.  And that’s really what I wanted to do.  Not so much on the act committed, but on the experience of the girl living it.  Taking the reader into such a fragile state and asking them to feel what I felt at that time.

To bring you in and let you feel what it is  like to shatter.

That is what this whole project has in effect been about.  Not the easiest of undertaking, I can assure you.  But one that I think has merit.

And so I can release the breath that has been held now and move forward.  I was successful in the written component of this chapter.  And always I appreciate the honesty from this group.  Despite the fact that it is a personal story, I have asked for their feedback and they have always given it.  If it doesn’t flow, they tell me.  If it is awkward and perhaps just too emotional and choppy, they tell me.

It is not about hurt feelings now.  The feelings that were hurt and have since been mended to the best they can be at this point.  No, telling me that the story I am telling doesn’t make sense at a certain point, or is just too much of mish mash won’t hurt me.  I simply have to go back and rework something.  And I know, as I have been doing this edit this week, that there are parts that need closer scrutiny while others I have perhaps gotten a bit too hung up on.

So yes, to edit your own work can at times be like pulling your own teeth.  It is also exposing the tender underbelly.  With tears now having slipped down my cheeks I will finish this post.

I will return to the task at hand and finish it right up to the last teardrop that falls. Then release this thing so that it might never haunt the corridors of my heart again.


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