Trust and Rewriting

muse-Calliope*Betsy sits at her desk*  *Taps fingers on keyboard*  *Chews lip*  *Looks around room*  *Opens computer file*

Whatcha doing?

*Betsy jumps*  *Straightens in her chair*  Muse?  Is that you?

Who else?  *Muse pets cats*  *Cats do not claw, but purr and roll over to allow Muse to pet their bellies* *Muse walks over to Betsy* *Props hip against desk*  So?  What are you doing?

*Betsy runs finger along front edge of desk* Thinking.

Oh, Jeeze.  Don’t do that.  You’ll hurt yourself.  *Muse strolls over to recliner*  *Sits and props feet up*  You know I can’t help but notice you’re not as happy as I thought you’d be at this stage of the game.

I’m happy!  *Betsy chews lip some more*

Could have fooled me.  What’s going on?  I mean, the book is basically finished, right?  Just one more polish read-through and then off to the editor, assuming you don’t find anything major.  Booyah!  *Muse pumps her fist*

Yeah, but–

*Muse gets up and walks back to Betsy*  This is what you’ve been working for.  It’s finished!  Well, mostly finished.  And even though you didn’t set any records writing the thing, it’s a new personal best, especially since you freaked out and had the mess of getting Handling It published right in the middle there.  It’s a good start on–

It sucks.

–your…. *Muse blinks*  Excuse me?

I think it sucks and I want to rewrite it.

Uh, huh.  *Muse crosses her arms and studies Betsy*  Sooooo…..why do you think it sucks?

Because it does!  *Betsy throws hands in the air*  *Gets up*  *Starts to pace around living room*  I can just feel that it does.  It’s terrible and I’m terrible and I’m a total and complete failure and everyone will laugh at me.  I have to rewrite it!  No, I have to rip it all apart and start again!

*Muse grabs Betsy’s arm and pulls her to a stop*  Now, hold on there little trooper.  Just calm down.

I HAVE TO REWRITE! *Betsy shouts*

Have you even read it?  I mean, from start to finish, all the way through.  Have you looked at the whole thing now that it’s basically finished?

*Betsy scuffs foot on carpet*  No, but–

So how can you judge it?  *Muse sighs*  You have to believe in yourself.  You have no idea if it’s good or not at this point.


*Muse shakes Betsy a little*  And you have to trust me, trust the path we laid out at the beginning.


*Muse shakes Betsy a little harder*  AND if you rewrite this story, if you start over again, you lose THIS story.  You’ll have a new story after you’ve rewritten it.

*Betsy pouts*  That’s kind of the point.

*Muse throws up her hands and paces away*  *Paces back*  But what if this story is actually good?  You’ll lose it, and you’ll lose the year it took you to write it.  That’s just stupid.

*Betsy scowls*  But what if its not good?

You have to trust the story. *Muse sighs*  *Rubs the bridge of her nose*  Look. You’re right.  It might not be the best thing you’ll ever write, but it’s probably not that bad.  And if you spend all of your time rewriting to try to be perfect–which you never will, by the way–you won’t be writing one of the other stories you have in your head.

*Betsy scowls*  *Folds arms across chest*  But I have to make it the best it can be.

Oh, absolutely.  But that doesn’t mean rewriting the same darned story over and over again.  At some point you have to let it go and move on. Fly free, little bird.

*Betsy’s scowl deepens*  And just….trust.  You know I’m bad at that.

*Muse sighs* You have to trust the creative impulse.  It led you to where you ended up.  You have to trust yourself and your own desire to bring the story out the best that you can.  It might be that you’re not talented enough or good enough or experienced enough to bring it out perfectly.  That’s only to be expected.  But it will be the best we can possibly make it at this point in time.  And when it is finished, we’ll start the next one.  And the next one will be whatever it will be.

Great.  *Betsy considers*  So, you’re saying…don’t start over?

*Muse rolls eyes*  Yes! That’s what I’m saying!  Revision is okay, to a certain extent, to polish things up, but you can’t let it get out of control.  If you keep starting the same thing over and over again, you’ll never get anything accomplished.  You can’t keep rewriting this book because you’re afraid, or you don’t think you can do it again with a new book.  If you want to be a professional, you’ll need to let things be finished without being perfect.  You’ll need to be able to move on, not get stuck running in the same wheel.

O….okay.  If you think so.  *Betsy sits back at desk*  *Opens computer file*  *Starts to read*  Hmmm…well…maybe it’s not as bad as I thought it was?

*Muse sighs* Right.  You’re going to find that it won’t be as bad as you thought.  And you’re going to find that it won’t be as good as you’d like.  But it will be one thing.

What’s that?

It will be finished.


To be continued…




  1. Doubt plagues us all. *hug* You’re in good company. But you’ve got this 🙂

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.