Imagination expands creativity.
Editing while writing shrinks creativity. And, I believe it scares the shit outta my creative muse.
Editing while writing, is like “that person” who always interrupts a really great story, by asking irrelevant questions like, “did you say it happened on Monday or Tuesday?” Whereby totally putting a big ole galosh kibosh on the groove of the storyteller’s rhythm.
Editing while writing is as dumb as trying to frame a painting while the artist is painting.
My writer’s creed as I write a book this summer: “First, the writing. Be a writer.”
Write like a shelter pup sprung from the pound. With liberation joy. LIBERATION JOY. Yes.
Then, the editing, whereby with help from an editor, I become an author.
Right now I don't know the genre or title of this book. Or its chapter titles. Just know a book is appearing and I belong at my writer’s desk this summer. Most importantly I have faith in my poetic writing skills/gift AND trust in God’s plan for this book. That is ALL I need right now.
The literary agent and editor will appear at the perfect time, and I will be welcomed into a publishing home sweet home. I can already see the welcome mat.
So, right now, IMAGINATION is my navigation, during this phase of book. Now is not the time to be practical and tactical. Any analysis is instant paralysis to my right brain. I’m telling my left-brain to take a vacation as I write book’s first draft. A play-cation. Placation.
Placation: from Latin placatus "soothed, quiet, gentle, calm, peaceful.”
Soothing and peaceful. Immediately I see the Hope Ranch bridle trails, where I walk 2-3 times a week. Under shade of eucalyptus, tall pines, and palms. Along flowering hedges. Serenaded by crows, wrens and roosters. Ocean views. A seaside paradise where there is always horseshit on the trails.
Such is the nature of walking a horse trail. To expect anything else is crazy. I’d rather walk around a few piles of horseshit than plod on paved sidewalks.
Same goes with writing first draft of this book. There is sometimes horseshit on the page, hence Hemingway’s famous remark, “the first draft of anything is shit.” Anne Lamott said, “What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head.”
Ditto what Anne said. Yet, the only voices I wish to shush while writing first draft are the leering, cautious adult editors. My wild writing child gets to say all she wants. She knows a little horseshit is part of the pioneer poet’s writing adventure when embarking on blank page frontiers.
Horse trails or sidewalks?
I want to be an adventurer, not a pedestrian when it comes to writing. Whether it’s the first or final draft of this book.
My job in the process of birthing this book is to be the writer God created me to be. A writer who loves to play with words. A writer who sees a blank page as a playground, where imaginary friends gather to romp, slide, swing, and teeter totter around the page.
The sacred creative path versus the scared editorial asphalt?
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2 NIV
Break it down:
1. Little children.
A child embellishes, not edits, imagination.
2. Kingdom of heaven.
To a writer/artist, “heaven” is a state of creative flow. Where magic, wonder, whimsy, curiosity, ease, goofiness, and joy romp and reign. It’s the realm of being governed by these attributes. Magic powers halo a child’s head when she is in an imaginary world.
It’s the world I wish to live in while writing this book. A summer staycation in my Santa Barbara cozatorium, stoking placation in my writer’s soul by allowing my imagination to reign.
Reflecting on childhood summers and places that kindled my imagination, I see ravines, creeks, willow trees, skunk cabbage, and spider webs. Visions of castle forts and Huck Finn rafts. This summer I vow to my inner 8 year-old to have fun on horse trails and Santa Barbara beaches. For I believe she is my biggest hope and help in writing my book this summer.
Here’s to summer adventure trails and tales!
Ps: No words were edited or harmed in the making of this story.
Yea, this post is a little rough around the edges and needs editing. But the heart of this story feels soft to my core. Write here...