Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear First Draft

Lately, I've been avoiding you. I know that's hard to hear, and is only confirming what you already know. And I want to apologize for my immature behaviour, but it doesn't change the fact that I've been sneaking around the house, refusing to make eye-contact with you. Acting like a complete child. Ignoring your file. Refusing to acknowledge your presence. 

I do see you.  

And I think of you often. More than you'll ever know. All the time, really. You're on my mind when I wake up in the morning, on my guilty concious each night when I rest my head on the pillow, and throughout the day you pop into my head at the oddest moments. It isn't that I don't want to see or talk to you. I do. I really do. But other things get in the way. Life things. 

I suppose that just sounds like an excuse to you. You'd be right. 

The truth is, it's not just me. I could take responsibility for the deterioration of our relationship. Say it is all my fault. But you are to blame as well. All those typos. Those poorly constructed sentences. The plot holes. And let's not even talk about the pacing. You're a mess, and I'm supposed to fix you? Clean you up and make you presentable? Most days I don't even think it's possible. And it isn't that I don't have faith in you, I do, but the work involved is daunting. Not to mention tedious.  

I told you from the beginning, I'm no editor. I am a writer. A creator. I craft and think up ideas, write them down. It's your job to be perfect and clean and lovely. I can't do it all on my own. I need help. You're supposed to be my support, make all my efforts worthwhile. And here you are, showing me dangling modifiers and adverbs and comma splices. Even after I comb through one of your chapters, I find more mistakes, ones I swore I just fixed! It's like you want me to be someone I'm not! I don't even own a red pen. 

You're sitting there demanding all this attention and time and it's time and attention I'd be happier directing elsewhere. 

I didn't want you to find out like this, but I've started another novel. Don't get all upset. We both saw this coming. We've been growing apart for awhile. And I'd hang my head in shame and avert my gaze, but she's so fresh and pretty. Flawless, really. She's so full of possibilities and excitement. I get out of bed for her. It's true, I don't know where we will end up, but we are weaving a plot, developing characters and prettifying sentences by using the perfect words.

It's not that you've been replaced. No, you could never be replaced. You have a special place in my heart. And I promise to return to you. I will finish your edits. Just not right now. Not when my new manuscript's cursor is blinking, begging me to type just a couple words, a few sentences, a paragraph. 

I guess all I wanted to say was, I'm sorry. It's just editing isn't my strong suit. My brain won't shut down long enough for me to reread your sentences and clean them up, make them sing. The sad part is that I know you have such potential. But right now, I have this new idea. One I need to write down. I know you'll understand because we were here once too. You remember the beginning of our romance. How thrilling it was to sit down together and work as a team. I know you won't begrudge me this. 

I do love you. Never forget that. 




Kayleigh Grian said...

Oh how I know this feeling well. It's as if you plucked the words right from my head lol. Great post :)

RobRow said...

Cheating on your first draft. Wow! I did that once. Now I have a second draft.

Kay Kauffman said...

Oh, this feeling. I've had it many a time. I've been enjoying your posts quite a bit over the last month (especially your bit about shaving above the knee - especially during the winter, what's the point? :)), and have thus nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Questions and details and such at my blog. :)