an unexpected meeting
while today only saw 13 pages, the content is tighter, and some headway is better than none. right?
one interesting thing that came up a couple times today, and always does through my revision process, regardless of which revision i’m on, is that i out-thought myself. i’ll find myself re-revising as i’m typing, getting caught up in a new idea and moving on to another passage on the computer without looking back at the pencil revisions. at some point, i’ll think that a particular turn of phrase sounds far better than whatever i might have revised in pencil, but i check the scribbling, just to see, only to discover that my supposedly superior re-revision is, in fact, precisely what i scribbled as the revision on the page.
great minds think alike (even if they’re both mine). you might think this happens far more often, since they’re my words in both instances, but coming up with precisely the same word choice or sentence structure at either end of a span of intervening weeks is actually not terribly common, for me. it feels a little like time travel, actually.
today also included a boat load of school work to take care of, which i’d put off in this rather quixotic attempt to finish yesterady, plus errands and whatnot, including taking the dog to our favorite walking spot. normally, we bring our snowshoes in this weather, but recently the trails have been tight packed by the snowmobiling folks, so the shoes have been more hindrance than help.
of course, today we assumed the same would be true. it wasn’t. it’s amazing what a difference two inches of almost packed snow feels like with and without snowshoes. that little extra bit of give with every step really starts to wear, and quickly, without the shoes. of course, that might just be me out of shape, but i’m sticking with the snowshoe theory.
this ramble has a point, though, for as we began our walk, we ran into a co-worker from my previous job, out for a walk of his own with his family (they were wearing there snowshoes, of course). now, i hadn’t seen him since i left more than 6 months ago, and i’m never very good in these situations, but is that an excuse for forgetting his name? i’d like to claim that i’m not good with names, but that’s not really true. i knew his name, but i tend to panic in those kinds of moments. he took it well, though, and did not abuse me for it, for which i am very grateful.
however, that’s not the point i was heading toward (yes, there really is one…sort of). my point was, he mentioned he reads my blog and that caught me entirely off guard. earth-shattering news? obviously not, but it was an unexpected moment of, well, confirmation. this person isn’t a blood relative, a childhood friend, or my wife.* he certainly can feel no obligation to read it, and there’s no way i could tell otherwise (yes, he could be lying in the first place, but i don’t believe this of him), and yet, he reads it anyway.
beyond the obvious ego boost of this (and that fact is not to be dismissed lightly), though, is the underlying realization that people are watching. i write because i love it and i write what i would like to read. i may never become a ‘successfully published author’; that’s a simple fact. but people are watching, and i want to do the best i can. this is one of the reasons why i couldn’t type all the revisions in without tweaking; why i throw out pages of stuff i’ve written, and then add some of it back; why i labor over every word and sentence, when, honestly, most people wouldn’t care less either way. ultimately, i write for me, but without an audience, what good is a word?
which brings me the (very) long way round to this: thanks, chris.
*this is certainly not to downplay the importance of these people in my life or on this blog, obviously, because you folks hold me up in so many ways, regardless, that i doubt i’d be here now without you.