Monday, October 6, 2014

Abstract Thoughts: Just a Taste... For Now

Wisdom of an Inner Editor
For a long time, Renee was staunchly anti-reread, meaning she refused to read anything we'd written previously until she was completely done with the draft. She claimed it made the writing process too difficult, that the urge to revise became too strong to ignore, and she feared I would take over the process and prevent her from moving forward.

I suspect this stance was the result of the previous Muse's influence. Not to speak ill of another abstract, but my former coworker had something of a flair for the melodramatic and she did not enjoy sharing Renee's limited attention.

Not that I was offended by this behavior. Because, of course, as an Inner Editor, I was able to view the situation objectively, and I don't take things personally anyway.

Thankfully, the current Muse has no such problem and actually enjoys working in a collaborative environment. As a result, I am no longer forced to spend several months a year on leave of absence to avoid the risk of being tied up and locked in a closet.

This Muse and I work together every day. First I sit down with Renee and go through the previous day's writings, smoothing out the really rough spots and cleaning up typos here and there. Then the Muse takes over and they spend a few minute planning out what comes next. And finally Renee sets her timer and writes as fast as she can, racing against the dawn.

I think this plan works very well. Ideally, I would enjoy more time with Renee each morning, as well as permission to do more than just a basic wipe down of the visible surfaces. Perhaps then we would come to the end of the writing process with a nice clean draft that requires only superficial polishing.

Manuscripts like that seem to be something like unicorns to me. I've never seen one, but I've heard tell.

But that fear of stalling out still lingers in the back of Renee's mind like the last remnants of the old Muse's (distinctly not-subtle) perfume, sticking to the cushions and sending up little puffs of panic at unexpected moments. And so for the time being, until we can get this place wholly aired out and leave everything smelling like confidence, I'll take what I can get.

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