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The Dark Knight Returns: Frank Miller

Okay…So editing sucks.

We all know it, there is no denying it, and I don’t feel bad having just said that.

Last week started well, I managed to get through two stories with little effort; all the pieces falling into place, easily identifying problem areas, correcting while filling in shallow parts of my tales.

Now, however, I find myself mired in a particularly poor piece of writing that a year ago I somehow convinced myself was ready for publication. No wonder I was turned down so many times; this stuff is terrifyingly horrible, a level of dreck so bile inducing that I find chopping at it with my editor’s hatchet seems like an act of futility.

I know this story can’t possibly be that bad.

I am being overly sensitive to my own work and letting that inner critic have its moment to fill my head with useless information that couldn’t possibly be helpful to me. We all suffer from this most insidious of adversaries; I have written about it before and have highlighted several articles by more successful authors who have shared their secrets for overcoming it.

Their sage-like advice is not helping me…I’m frustrated.

I want to start writing a new story. I even opened up a blank document yesterday and started tapping away ideas for a new tale; the whole time thinking to myself, “This is totally wrong. You know you should be working on the edit. Hey asshole! If you don’t want to work on the edit than I’m turning off the spigot.”

And Bam! the words just shut off.

I couldn’t continue on with the story; my hands frozen on the edge of my desk, fingers hanging above the keyboard but not moving. I felt like a marionette with its strings cut.

So I saved the notes and went back to staring at my page of torture; its words all jumbling together, voices lost, plot lines confused. I’m only writing this blog today to make sure I can still put a thought together on the page

My hunt for the word “the” has become an obsession; killing its mediocrity, reducing its muddy boot print on my work.

The heat has become a mindsuck. It drives those around me crazy, who then in turn drive me crazy; the whole process ending with me staring at the screen thinking about the mindsuck instead of how to make this story readable.

And then I get a surprise doughnut and I realize I need to relax.

Everything will work itself out as long as I don’t give up.