I’ve never been much for revision. Before a random Google search found me an awesome MFA program, I never thought anything would come of my writing, except perhaps some personal peace of mind. I wrote when I had a story in me, a story that was driving me crazy as it wrote itself in my head. Short of that, there wasn’t much routine to my writing. Then I would save it, or delete it; either way, I wouldn’t really think of the story much again, once it was out of me.
Last week, my mentor e-mailed to let me know he had received my packet of fiction: my first 25 pages in the journey towards a manuscript. Honestly, the e-mail scared the hell out of me. It reminded me that I hadn’t sent some 10-page short story out into oblivion as I am so wont to do. No, quite the contrary: in a week’s time, those 25 pages will come back to me: appraised my an incredible author, marked and possibly unrecognizable. But all of this scares me less than the simple fact that those pages, and this story, are nowhere near “out of me.” I can’t just shove them in a drawer and start a new story, like I usually do. This is the big one, the one I’ve been afraid to tell for 4 years now. And I’m suddenly up against the reality of that.
Of course, it’s also thrilling to feel this big story swirling inside me and figuring itself out, coming from different corners of my consciousness and connecting in ways I didn’t know it could. I’m happy that there’s so much more to say. I just hope it’s worth saying.