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Steven Domingues

Thinks of things, then writes them down

On Finishing

So close yet so far.

Almost finished with “Win Some, Lose Some”. By finished I mean that I’m almost done with the draft I’m working on.

It has always been difficult for me to re-write something. I suppose it’s the same with all authors, but I have a particular hatred for it.

Maybe hatred is too strong a word, but it’s immaturity seems valid here.

When I was young, maybe 3rd or 4th grade, I had to write something for class. I don’t remember what it was, how long it was supposed to be or anything like that. What I do remember is that I had to write it over again.

Now, these were the days before computers (gasp!) and I wrote whatever it was on lined paper (probably college ruled, I always liked college ruled) and in pencil.

As I was writing, I was excited for TV. This was a young me, and like now, I needed to reward myself for achievements. Dessert after a healthy meal, tv after chores, video games after a work out. Motivation. At any rate, I was finishing my homework with cartoons dancing in my head when my mom came over.

I believe she must have complemented me on my work, but I don’t really remember. What I do remember is that I commented on how soon I’d finish so I could watch cartoons. She responded that I could watch TV after she had checked my work and after I’d re-written it.

Now, this was probably a matter of 15-20 minutes of additional work. Nothing really- unless that 22 min. show you really want to watch is about to come on.

I felt rejected, depressed and angry. So much so that I remember it today, 19 years later. And this would prompt my complete rejection of my mother checking my work or even studying for tests in junior high- but that’s a different story.

I remember scribbling out the rest of my homework. What was the point? If I’d have to redo everything anyway, why should the first draft matter?

My memory ends there. I don’t recall what changes were made or how long it took to rewrite. I just remember the feeling that I was about to reach the summit of the mountain, only to see I had only climbed a hill, and the real challenge was behind it.

And that’s much how I feel now. The hill, the first draft, is almost climbed. Now will come the hardest part. Re-reading, having someone else read, dealing with all the mistakes I invariably made.

The difference is that now (besides not having to re-write the whole thing in pencil) I know that multiple drafts is a good thing. I know that some of the stuff I wrote needs to be edited out. I know that I need to write additional pages, perhaps chapters. I know that in the end, my work will be better for it.

As I finish this nine month process (jeez, this thing is like a kid!) I realize that I have much more to look forward too. Perhaps it’ll be read, perhaps it will even be well received.

It’ll have to wait until after the re-write though, and only then, will it be ready.


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