Is there anything more meta than writing about writing? Unfortunately, I must indulge in this conceit, having just sweated and worried and self-loathed myself out of 300-ish words for a blog post about sidewalk etiquette. Last week, I begged and wheedled my way into a guest column of sorts, and once the green light was flashed, it began.
First, the ideas come swarming, and oh they are all such delightful fireflies. I was consumed by the thought of what I was going to write about. Spent hours thinking, thinking. Took a pass at writing some of those thoughts down, mostly an incoherent list. Let the document sit on my screen, flashing incompetence at me, but at least it was a start. Walked away. I had days to complete it, I would be fine. And then the dreaded deadline approached. I frantically dusted off the woefully incomplete bits of ideas, and got to work. Wrote, rewrote, deleted, read, reread, rewrote. Got to a point where I was satisfied with it, and then shared with a few people.
Constructive criticism is truly amazing. Fresh eyes on the words pointed out the thinness of certain elements, made suggestions. I took some of the suggestions but ignored others because they didn't feel like me. It was starting to hang together. So I read and reread and rewrote and deleted. And then, nervously, I hit send. I thought the anxiety of writing was wrecking, but I hadn't counted on the wait between send and editor feedback. Oh the agony of a few hours.
This has to get easier with practice, right?