Ah, the editing process. That time when you begin to have serious concerns that you have been living under the egotistical delusion that you can write. The image above is a manuscript page of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Clearly this page had gone through many revisions. Perhaps surviving several drafts, marked in green red, black and blue ink- until it was finally thrown out completely with the swipe of a blue X. Not everything we write is intended to survive. Rather than feel insecure with your mistakes or sub par work, I like to think of these tossed out copies like the frame work done when building a home. Without it everything would crumble-but the beauty is in the finishing touches. No one will ever see this piece, just like the framing, but it is a necessary step towards the final goal. Sometimes we need to get those cliches or predictable scenes out of the way, just so we can ruthlessly edit them out later. Don’t waste time pitying yourself or bemoaning your lack of talent just for a few trashed chapters. At the very least take pride in knowing that despite all of Joyce’s editing and revision, as seen above, your rough draft is probably more coherent than his final draft of the novel.


image: http://poumons-optiques.tumblr.com/post/46417339941/mythologyofblue-manuscript-fragment-of-james