In fact, I wouldn’t even go as far as editing. I release torrents at the very thought of having to reread the dastardly pieces while the very experience of reading it all again –facing the fact that YES! MY WRITING SUCKS TOO! – is devastating. It’s about the only thing I could find nastier than a cold cup of tea on a winter morning. (If you didn't get it, you probably drink coffee or something!)
I admit. I have very kind readers. But if I ever dared throw my first drafts in public, I’m sure it wouldn’t just be those unfortunate pieces of papers being shred to nothings. Hence, I hold my peace and lock my pieces away till I have cried and wailed and cropped and chopped and added and molded and morphed and shaped and come to the end of my little talent and wits to allow my work to finally see the light of day.
Last Sunday was one such day.
Since you all must know by now about Aoife and Demon and its upcoming launch and yada yada yada, I took liberty in feeling a little – poufy – ego wise. I decided if people can take my blog, they surely deserve to read my tidbits from my early writing days and although, I’ve already put some of them on the website, some still remained and Wattpad seemed the best place for posting a modest compilation. I was aware that most of my pieces needed some sort of revision. How bad could it be, right?
I took out a short story I’d written about seven years ago –Diamonds in the Rough. I
had always liked that storyline that put forth a fairly touching theme and plot but what hit me full force in the face as I scanned the text of about a thousand words was the difference in my own writing style. It was a horrid picture of THEN.
As writers, we grow while we grow as people and as life advances, our experiences add spice to us as it does to our writing. We become more seasoned and get a handle on our own skill of expression. Then, to go back to something you’d written at the start of this experience is like looking at your baby pictures – and not the cute ones too!
Aoife and Demon reflects a much more seasoned Humeira Kazmi, seasoned as a writer. I can punctuate better. I know now how and where to use my dialogue and how to use less words to show more. I can decide how to choose between bits of information; what to reveal; what to hold back till the end or forever. I understand now how to develop my characters for the benefit of their story whether it’s short or novel length. And most of all, it is important to not be scared.
There’s a writer within. Turn her loose!
However, not all was bad. There were lines that reeked of a very naïve and amateur writer that an author corrupted by commercialized selling and ‘political correctness’ had difficulty appreciating. It turned my turn the writer loose mantra into quite a paradox too.
So, I let that text be.
Reading such lines felt more like an instance of stopping by the woods on a snowy evening and smelling the roses…yes, oddity was beauty. And then it hit me. No matter how gruesome or embarrassing editing was, it gave me a chance to revisit me as I started out, my aspirations of that era, things and thoughts that inspired me then and how bold or not I was. It reflected candidly all the changes that my writing had suffered, endured, earned and honored. Hence, every edit was a new experience; adding more juice to the writing life.
And juice is healthy. Methinks I'll be fine after all :)