Day 804: The Worst and the Best Thing a Writer Can Do

The worst and the best thing any writer can do is the same. It’s editing. For me, it is extremely hard to look back on my own work, especially if it’s really old. So old that I have matured a great deal in the meantime. Some of the old pieces of writing I have looked at truly make me sick. Awful. I do acknowledge that I probably needed to write all these to get to the point where I am now. They are milestones on the road. Yet, some of them are actually worth working on. There is some essence, some magic, hidden deep inside them, I just need to remove all the unnecessary fluff and reinforce the magic. No matter how painful it is. No matter how much I might hate it at first. Because the result is worth it. Something beautiful emerges out from this mess. This is why editing is also one of the best things the writer can do. Better leave some time between the actual writing and the editing. Only then will you see the piece clearly. Only then will you be able to “kill your darlings” as Stephen King put it in his amazing book On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft. You need that distance.

I returned to something I started in 2011 and finished in 2015. First impressions when I once tried to start translating it back in 2018? What an utter bullshit! I abandoned the project and went on with new stuff. Now, in 2019, I am back. I am rewriting that bullshit, scene by scene, breathing some life into it. This was my MA project, workshopped over and over. There are good parts, too, I need to make them shine. And ditch all the not-so-good parts.

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Most of the day was spent in a kind of haze. I picked up my husband the night before from the airport, way past midnight. We got to bed at 2am and this meant waking up at 10am. My whole schedule ruined. Everything out of sync. But I did work on a translation and another project.

2. Write AND publish a book.

I didn’t get back to the hardcore editing but did write a blog post for my food blog Toidupeegeldused. At least this plan of working on my blogs is successful. Each day a different blog. Of course, for this one, I write every day.

3. Win a major race.

The worst weather. Gusts of wind, slippery roads, me not feeling so good. Two workouts. One super hard at noon, one easy one in the evening. Didn’t go as well as needed but I console myself with the fact that at least I provided my heart with some serious training.

Photo of the Day

This bag contains my husband’s spikes. Exciting smells and sweat from Portugal. Miu thought she also wants to start training, took the bag and tried taking off with it.

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