St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

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Writing is one of the most rewarding, aggravating, amazing endeavors one can undertake.  Because writing anything of significant length and writing it well requires time, it requires physical stamina and mental fortitude that those who don’t write cannot understand.  I’m not belittling anybody who does not write, nor those activities which others do for a living.  I appreciate the variety in life, and writing makes me appreciate more the value of human beings, and helps me to see where change in our world might be a great thing.  I’m trying to make the point that the difficulty, the complexity, the sheer aggravation and joy that comes from writing, because it is a solitary activity, cannot be understood by those who don’t write seriously.  And  I don’t necessarily consider this a gift of the gods, or of one God; in fact, sometimes it feels like a curse.  Writing is generally considered a craft.  We are all endowed with the gift of language and the ability to communicate; however, for most, this doesn’t equate with a desire to write, much less to write well.  I do believe anybody can write well if they learn to respect the language that is innate in humans, as important in many ways as the air we breathe and the water we drink.  The creative process of writing well is a physical and mental nightmare.  I have written, by hand or on one computer or other, for many years, and taken a seed and transformed it into a tree.  Maybe not a tree suitable to withstand a great storm, or even for a small child to play in.  That is where revision comes into play.  Revision is like playing chess with a master with your hands tied behind your back and blinders on; you have to rely on the amazing parts of your brain to guide the process.  The logical part of your brain tempered by the emotional part. You have to be sometimes impartial, sometimes completely engrossed, and sometimes cut throat, to revise. I have started hundreds of writing projects, small and large, from poetry to short (and short short) fiction to novels, and many are sitting on a computer (some in folders or boxes) somewhere waiting for inspiration to strike so that I can return to revise them. I don’t hold out a lot of hope that I will return to them. So I start more projects, and sometimes life happens and I don’t write much for awhile. But I have a real job and I don’t pretend that I will ever write the great American novel. I don’t know that I care if I do. I enjoy the writing process, like a significant other, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. And then I will be published…posthumously.