Rewriting Version 2
Writing as a Writer; Mocking Gallery Be Damned.
Haruki Murakami in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running said that he has difficulty doing readings in Japanese. He writes in Japanese and for him every word is important.
I don’t know how true that is in my own writing. Yet I love the emotion.
I read What I Talk About... on the eve of my birthday. The experiment sprung up a few days later. The books rhythm carried me. It brought to the front the training that goes into real endeavors, and the solitary nature of the craft. I must say I do not agree with all that H.M.. said, but with the spirit I am in total accord. The spirit is that one has to work it.
So, now nine days later, I must acknowledge Haruki Murakami for this inspiration. This is what finally gets me back to the project. Many people write clearly and convey their meanings without doubt. Is that my main purpose? No. The purpose might be discovery. Its not simply communication. It's a discovery that I cannot even comprehend fully and that perhaps contains importance for others who read it that I hope for even though I cannot quite fathom.
Here where I blog, to date, I blog. I free write. I let my thoughts flow with the most casual attention to grammar or style or content. I publish my thoughts as camera veritas, roll 'em and wrap ‘em and serve ‘em!
Yet I call myself a writer. I do. (Dare the mocking gallery in the recesses of my mind its guffaw.)
As a writer I know the importance of the rewrite.
The rewrite happens only after the truly important bit: the read. That first read, with a moment's distance, after the computer is closed or the notebook shut is where the writer visits the writing for the first time. The read is where the grand AHA! or AHA!s come. They slumber in the midst of a paragraph or leap from the form of the whole. “Here's the poetry of this trip. Come now,” says the read.
Along with the Aha!s come the OH NOs! I’d be a liar of the first degree if I left that out. My niggling yet nefarious nemesis in this enterprise has been a solid conviction that the experiment will yield no Version other than the first. There has been the insistence that this exercise is esoteric and unnecessary. Why do this and not revisit the poems and stories that might actually get somewhere.
So in the midst of these Ahs and OH NOs I write this Version 2.
Then out come the real tools of the modern writer's trade: the cuts and pastes; the blending of metaphors and meters; the underlining or shading back of rhythm and rhyme; the dusting of a final seal of talcum that makes every word sing the same song even as it plays counter to its neighbor. They may not be here yet. They may come out later still. I feel them on their way. They will swoop in with their expertise and flamboyantly sculpt us into gorgeous.
Or any case that is the dream.
What the first version is, is in fact our hypothesis: We are testing by one very unscientific example to see if re-writing does indeed enhance the piece. Our hypothesis is that it does. The experiment is to be determined by comparing the first version, which is a conception of the contrasts of free write and rewrite with later ones.
Let the comparisons begin.
Is this second version a worthy child of the first? Is it a worthy suite?