Of course I do. Everyone does. I hate rereading a piece until I hate every stupid word. I hate the futility of not being able to see my mistakes because I know what I meant.
But I really hate the wall I just hit.
Background: I know I am not that great a writer; but I don’t want to be a better writer if that means following the rules. You know what I mean, the rules of grammar and style, some of which are written in stone, some of them transient as fashion changes, but all at a particular point in time rigid and immovable.
I have read an awful lot of banal mediocrity that is written according to the rules. The final straw that made me give up writing at 17 was an introductory university text that showed badly written pieces rewritten following the rules. In every example I preferred the badly written pieces. I saw wild, emotion packed prose sucked into a sausage maker and regurgitated, sanitised into boring, pointless information.
I knew then I would never be a writer, some days I wish I had stayed that way.
BTW I just received an edit on my Anthology piece and I can’t stop crying.
The tweaks are minor and they are all right, as in correct. But as I watch word after word made normal, I feel a deep sense of loss. The quirky words, the exactness of meaning that I can see but readers would not understand, disappear replaced by common phrases and words. ‘Said’ is a pet hate, I hate using the word, there are so many variations each having a slightly different meaning, meanings that have been forgotten by some and were never known by most. I love words.
I think that is my problem; I love the words. Meanings, history, provenance; the tiny nuances that distinguish one word from another. Fantastic, fabulous, marvellous and great are not inter-changeable, despite the beliefs of the primary school teachers I have encountered.
I love words so much more than I love communicating. Betraying the words even by reducing precision makes me hate my readers.
I love the idea of having readers but what’s the point if I have to give up being quirky and … well, me.
But I hate those kind of people; I won’t change a word of my story because I am brilliant.
I look at the edits and I know they are right, but it feels less me. I know what I meant, I want what I meant to be there for readers like me more than I want to appeal to more readers.
I can’t be a hypocrite though. Where is the line?
And I don’t want to read that pablum again. I don’t know why I wrote it, I’ve lost interest in it, except I am depressed at the latest version. Maybe I don’t hate it as much as I thought. I am a lot more arrogant than I present myself. I read the corrected story and it reads as far more like other published work. Generic, normal, readable; I really think I am just being a b#@*$.
I hate normal, I hate life, I hate people.
I promised that I would do anything to not have to reread my stupid story again, and what do I care? I never have to read my sections of the anthology, and I know the editor knows more about writing than I do. I think I’m going to ‘accept all’ and just let it go.
I can write unedited nonsense on my blog where no one can stop me.