Writers Have to Choose
Make some choices.
That's what one of my Manuscript Readers commented, when I was in the late stages of reworking Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places.
What she didn't know (at least I think she didn't) was that I was facing a crisis of identity. I can be lightly humorous at times, but all my Readers seemed more attracted to the poetic aspects of the text. I didn't want to be poetic. I wanted to be liked. People often like funny people. Ergo, I wanted to be funny.
But here was this Reader telling me in no uncertain terms... make some choices.
I think this is one of the hardest parts of writing. From top to bottom. From the big picture down to the individual words. What to leave in, what to leave out. Which face to show and which to hide. Or, if you prefer, which voice to sound or which to silence. (It's one of the reasons I blog and write poetry. In such small spaces, one has GOT to make choices. Good ones at that, to keep a community of readers coming back.)
Someone asked me recently when I first knew I wanted to be a writer. Huh?
I told him I never really wanted to be a writer. Maybe because I knew in my deepest self that, among other things, writing is an exercise in making choices. And for someone as spirited as I am, that was a difficult act of submission. In the end, writing seemed to choose me. Which means I've got to conform to this golden writing rule: make some choices, 'cause good writers have to choose.
Chosen by the Fish painting (don't know the real title!) by Salvador Dali, photographed in Paris by L.L. Barkat.
I loved these thoughts from Erica on her history with poetry