I’m supposed to be revising essays for my Creative Writing: Nonfiction class. They’re due on Tuesday and I’m not even close to being done. However, all I can think about is my relationship with revising.
For the first essay, I have to really dig into it: I need to develop my scenes, and possibly reorder them to create an ABABABA format. Developing the scenes I can do easily enough. I’m writing about a topic that I constantly go over in my head so though the actual events happened almost four years ago, I remember them in remarkable detail. I’m worried about the ABABABA format though. My essay isn’t clear cut in it’s format so I can’t just copy and past paragraphs around to create my desired format.
That leads me to one of my least favorite things about writing nonfiction: It can be traumatic. In order to write a successful essay, you need to really dig into your emotions and your deepest most secret thoughts. Which may be things that you have shut yourself away from. Basically, you need to cut yourself open again and expose your wounds to the world.
Revising is also hard because I like to be able to see what I’m doing on all of the pages. This requires me to print out papers and draw arrows and boxes which always ends up confusing me later on. One of the things my teacher has said to me is that my work is powerful but it can be more powerful. When I revise, I’m constantly worried that I’m going to mess up what I already have. What happens if all I put into it the second time around takes away from the main point of the essay? What happens if ABABABA format confuses readers? What happens if I lose all the power that the essay already has? These questions stop me from fully revising my essay.
I guess the biggest and most difficult thing for me to deal with is the fact that I’m scared.
I’m scared that I don’t have what it takes to write a great essay, one that could be published in a paper or magazine.
Do you have any suggestions? Are you also a writer and do you experience this same fear? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,