Rewrites: A Writer’s Woes

I’ve been dead in the water the last week or so as far as posting to my blog. I’ve also been behind on reading up on some of my favorite blogs and have been desperately trying to catch up.

Even though I wasn’t here, I was being productive. I tackled a rewrite of one of my short pieces. A few nights ago, after finishing it up, I went to bed dancing in the sheets, figuratively of course. Then a little twinge hit me in the gut.

I tried to ignore it and tell myself that it was something that I ate. I tossed and turned all night long and the next morning it was still there, waiting for me like the Grim Reaper. I took my shower. It was there. I ate breakfast. It sat right beside me. I applied my makeup. It stared  back at me in the mirror. It literally scared the hell out of me.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

There was no avoiding it any longer. I had to face reality. It wasn’t leaving. It was that thing inside that tells me my story still isn’t quite right. It was that thing that hangs over my shoulder until I succumb to its wishes. It pulled me back to the laptop and forced me to pick apart my words and read aloud sentence after sentence, second-guessing myself every step of the way. Damn you, perfection!

Although I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, I do strive to put out a commendable piece. I think that’s a normal feeling for most writers. In all fairness, there are only two paragraphs that are giving me angst with this current story. If I could just get past them, I could finally move on with my life until the next story comes along and pushes me over the deep end.

Do you ever let that one story drive you crazy? Do rewrites and edits take you down an unending road of pulling out your hair?

Categories: ~Me, On Writing and What Not~ | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Post navigation

24 thoughts on “Rewrites: A Writer’s Woes

  1. Oh I know that feeling. I have an article due on Monday and could tweak it a little and be done. But something keeps nagging me it could be better. It’s bugging me enough that I’m going to rewrite chunks. It’s good enough but not as good as I know it could be.

  2. When something tells you it’s not right, you have to trust your gut instinct and keep working on it. Yes, I’m a perfectionist, and eventually I just have to stop and be satisfied that it’s the best I can do.

  3. Definitely had moments like that. I had to let go of a major plot line in the story I’m currently working on–even though I loved it–because my gut was telling me that I should spend more time on developing my characters and their relationship, instead.

  4. I agree with Alex. A writer must trust the gut. I’ve been there. Sometimes it can be frustrating but SO rewarding when you just get that other feeling — that “YES!” feeling that you’re on the right track. The writing will be so much stronger because of it.

    Good luck Melissa. I know you’ll get that piece to the right place. 🙂

  5. Y es!!! I could tweak and change and worry forever!!!But I always think it’s a good idea to listen to that voice!

  6. I hear you on this one, Melissa. That feeling does nag at you until you succumb to its demands. Although sometimes we have to be careful with all the tweaking. There’s a fine line between over-tweaking and leaving well enough alone. Most times we lose touch with that line and drive ourselves insane.

  7. I totally get where you’re coming from. I’ve torn out so much hair recently, I’m surprised I’m not bald yet. Still, that’s what gets us there in the end. Hope it’s going well. 🙂

  8. Go with your gut! Nine times outta ten, it’s spot on! 🙂

  9. Elise Fallson

    Nothing wrong with taking time out for your writing. And good for you for listing to your gut feeling. Wanting to get things perfect just shows how much you care and in the end, your ms will shine! (:

  10. Hi, Mel,
    I think all my stories drive me a little bit crazy until they’re just right. I tend to believe I don’t know when to quit, but my gut usually tells me when to stop. After a battle royale with the keyboard, I like to take time away from writing anything.

  11. Yup. A feeling we all get. Too bad at some point you have to let it go and submit. Then you sit and dread the rejection.

  12. So glad I’m not the only one plotting the death of my laptop my day and, by night, rewriting scenes endlessly in my head when I should be sleeping!

Please Leave a Piece of Your Mind...I Dare You!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: