Time for a Full-Kerouac Experiment (aka Why editing is important)

Shit, I had it, then I lost it. It was going to all flow out, but now it’s gone. 

Breathe

What is there? 

If it’s not the idea I had for this experiment, what is it? What is there?

Sit up straight – I finally have a desk built in my…room. It’s not really a room per se, it’s a little wooden gypsy caravan, built by hand by Dennis, who lives somewhere around here, I’m not sure where, but he also manages the Arboura Eco Cabins a few lots down from Flutterby House. 

Anyway, my ‘room’, my gypsy caravan. I shit you not, that’s the name Alys calls it on AirBnb, the Gypsy Caravan, but I don’t think any gypsies ever lived in it. 

It’s about 13 feet long by seven feet wide. A queen mattress occupies the back 1/3, sitting on the bed frame Dennis built out of pallets. Aside from the bed and the wooden wheel-hubs, the rest is of the caravan is open space, which I dig, it’s not too claustophrobic for a small space. 

I am the world’s worst speller, it’s something I’m ashamed off, how I cannot in this moment figure out how the fuck to spell claustrophobic. Ooh, that time it suggested the auto-spell correct. But I’m serious, I feel kinda dumb for my inability to spell – ooh, this triggers a memory from a 7th grade spelling, 7th grade-hmm…. 

Breathe

But I don’t want to digress that far, now.

The point is, there will be spelling errors, please don’t judge me. 

Oh, and I’m aware I’m not using m-dashes when I should be, but I’m writing this in Pages instead of Word, and I don’t know the keyboard command to insert one, and I don’t want to try to figure it out now. Again, please don’t judge me. 

(If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m still scared of being judged…)

Breathe

But I feel like this is happens, if you follow the rabbit-hole of specificity to it’s – what’s the word,  to it’s logical extent. No, not the logical extent, the absurdist extent. 

So maybe I don’t need to take it to the absurdist extent. 

That’s an interesting question, why do I feel compelled to play it out to it’s absurdist extent? Maybe that’s one of my defense mechanisms, from my little childhood trauma. Hmm. 

Yeah, I feel like my reptile brain is having this reaction to Waylon’s criticism of my work. It’s this little snotty snark-back in response to saying my precious words aren’t – what – he’s not saying they’re not good, he’s saying they could connect with readers more. 

Well, technically, he’s saying what would draw him in… 

And I feel like he wants more detail than I do, there are big-picture people and detail oriented people, and a whole spiraling spectrum in between. 

Breathe

There I go, down the rabbit-hole of specificity…

He’s just saying add more detail. There’s room for that, but I’m reacting like “Fine, you want specificity, I’ll give you some fucking specificity!”

I just need to add more, that’s all he’s saying. My ego wants to make it into some big thing. Why?

Maybe cuz I’m scared of success. I’ve never really understood what that meant until now. 

Maybe, my sneaky subconscious is trying to sabotage me, because what if this Elephant Academy thing pans out. Say my wildest dreams come true, or even say I just start earning a living from writing, but then it turns out I’m still not satisfied. 

Yeah, it’s just like the relationship merry-go-round.

But here’s another thing, sometimes my flow, my writing flow, is not in the specifics. Sometimes there are ideas I want to convey in clear language, and the details get in the way. Sometimes the details detract from the meaning. 

Or rather, the lack of meaning. 

Maybe this is the key, my flow, my pure, unadulterated, ego-free flow, isn’t going to 100% resonate with any other individual’s flow. It can’t, we’re all snowflakes. 

So that’s what feels like a rational explanation for my resistance to specificity.

And that reason is sound, no one is saying I have to play specificity out to it’s absurdist limit, I’m the one creating that response. 

I just need to make it a little more specific, balance it out, so more people can feel the flow, still keep the essence of my authentic flow, but garnish it with the details that help pull other people into the flow. 

Maybe that’s the key to a good writer-editor relationship, or a co-writing relationship. People with some flow in common, but other differences can balance each other out and create a piece that resonates with a wider audience than any individual could reach. 

I absolutely adored the Good Omens book, written by Terry Prachett and, what’s his name, I love his solo writing too – Neil Gaimen. I loved Good Omens so much I read the authors’ notes afterwards. I rarely do this, cuz again – too many specifics for my taste usually.

Terry and Neil each wrote about their experience collaborating, and it sounded awesome. They were across the Atlantic from each other, so Terry would write something, then Neil would wake up read what Terry wrote, laugh his ass off, then send back his thoughts. (or something like that, maybe I have it reversed). 

Anyway, it sounded like a lot of fun, and I love what they produced. So I guess I’m saying I wish I could find a collaborator like that. But I’m too scared to ask because I’m afraid of being rejected.

God, I sound like such a baby sometimes…

Why do I feel the need to defend myself. 

To whom am I defending myself?

Well, right now I feel like I’m defending myself to Waylon, partially. No just that last one, correctly using ‘to whom’ (fuck I hope that’s correct), I feel the need to establish that I know grammar, cuz he harps on it a lot, in a rather Judgy Mc Judgeface way… And I want him to know that I’m happy to play the grammar-nazi game, I worked for a bit editing pharmaceutical regularly documents – that is some hardcore shit, grammar mistakes could blow a fucking NDA or IND application for a drug. 

Breathe

Why am I reacting like this, the need to defend myself.

But before I spiraled out into the specific example of defending myself to Waylon, behind that, feeling the need to defend my baby behavior. Who was I defending that to? Not Waylon, he encourages that (as long as it doesn’t stay into Emotionalism).

The point is, I constantly feel the need, in my head, to defend myself in words. Keep up this running dialogue of defense for my actions, why I’m doing what I’m doing. 

To whom is this internal voice defending it’s actions?

This is nothing like Kerouc, but I’m only a third of the way through it, I’m reading it for the first time after Waylon harped on it. 😉

But I guess I wanted to try a stream of consciousness experiment and see what happens.

Maybe this is just a demonstration of why editing is important…

2 thoughts on “Time for a Full-Kerouac Experiment (aka Why editing is important)

  1. Hi, that’s awesome you followed my blog here from EJ, thanks for stopping by! Catcher in the Rye is another of those iconic books that I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read. I tried to find it once, but there’s no kindle version available. I travel so much, physical books are hard to tote around.

    Like

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