Full disclosure: I completely forgot to prepare this blog post, and I’m late. Apologies!
Every other Sunday, my writers’ group meets. In theory, we each take 10 minutes to read our most recent work aloud, the other members each get 3-5 minutes to offer a critique (depending on how many members are present), and if there’s time at the end of the session, we might have discussion. We try to stay away from author response (less affectionately known as the “writer arguing with the critique” effect), but we do allow questions for clarification.
I love writers’ group Sunday. It makes me happy, even when I don’t have new writing to share. But, sometimes, the best part? That’s the after meeting time. Our group meets at Barnes & Noble, because it’s free and they have coffee. It also keeps any member from having to clean his/her house, which is a factor. The advantage, however, is that because the meeting is not at anyone’s house, we can stay as long as we like. For me, that means I can’t see the dirty dishes/dog needing to be brushed/laundry needing to be folded/child needing to be reminded to do her homework/etc. It’s almost like a mini-vacation!
When it works, I get to stay at the bookstore for an extra hour or so and just write. This week–I revised. Yes, I began at the beginning again (see, you knew I’d tie in the title, right?).
I re-read my short story. I read the comments and feedback received by both my local group and my Mysteristas critique group. I reviewed my outline. I documented plot holes. And, I began filling in the gaps.
It was lovely. For me, I can get so lost in a project that I forget exactly where I started. Sometimes, I even forget that there’s good writing! When I’m stuck, I start to wonder why I ever thought I could do this. Then, I re-read, and I remember.
Beginning at the beginning serves all sorts of purposes for me. It can get me in the groove of my story if I’ve been away for awhile. It reminds me that I can actually write well, at least sometimes. Re-reading allows me to get excited about my story all over again! And the ideas–oh, so many ideas come to me when I go back to the beginning again.
This past Sunday was one of those delightful days when I began at the beginning, and the excitement and pleasure of writing and revising is still with me today. How do you feel about beginning…again?