I patted the top of the 8 ½ X 11 box with affection to acknowledge its contents. The box was deep enough to cradle 220 pages of my memoir manuscript. But this wasn’t just a manuscript containing double-spaced typed lines. This was my story – edited, rewritten, honed to the best of my ability, ready for . . . another edit!
I had attacked every paragraph with colored flair pens, reshuffling, deleting and adding, through its development, aware that more onslaughts will be in the making. When I had completed my edit, I saved my manuscript to a flash drive and carried the pages in my hand’s palm to be opened at the Staples counter. I waited patiently, watching the copy machine spit polished pages, stacking them neatly, ready to be whisked away to their creator.
When I had returned home, I placed the box on my desk and eagerly flipped open the lid, revealing a welcoming cover page in black type on clean, white paper.
So many years, so much editing. My lack of accomplishment is not in the years I have toiled on refining prose, or the 4 professional critiques I’ve received along the way. When I paused and reflected on the depth of pages and all I had written, I realized my accomplishment was in the very exercise of rewriting, honing, creating my best that is all me . . . and the printed draft. The fresh, unmarked pages were a reflection of my thoughts, a story in the bud, ready to open and unfold its petals with every sentence and paragraph I constructed.
When I can write no more and have met an impasse, I’ll know it’s time to turn it over to a professional for continued guidance.
Until then, with each refining edit and printing of a clean copy thereafter, I will envision a finished book with its curious cover and welcoming title. I will receive more boxes and lift lids with continued accomplishment.
One thought on “A Slice of Writer’s Life”
Hooray! There is nothing more satisfying than a clean, fresh hard copy. I like to tap the pages on the desk so that they are all neatly aligned, then riffle them and feel the breeze across my cheek. It seems like alchemy, to turn a fragile thought to tangible evidence on the page.