Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Ides of Revision by Laurie Calkhoven

I’m going to begin with a quote from Parker Palmer from the Center of Courage and Renewal:

There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.

That quote popped into my e-mail box one day (I get a daily gratitude e-mail) when I was in the middle of a hard revision. I couldn’t figure out how to make the story work and was thinking about abandoning the book completely. Then I realized I was in the plug ugly stage, but rebirth might be on the way. I had to be willing to walk through that field and get my boots dirty. Once I decided to revel in that muddy muck, to roll around in the messiness, I found my way out.

9 comments:

  1. I feel your pain since I'm going through the same thing with my WIP. Nice to know spring and rebirth waits on the other side.

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  2. Perfect metaphor! Now I'll try to welcome plug ugliness!

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  3. Perfect reminder that process isn't always pretty...or easy...but that with effort it results in beauty.

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  4. It's fitting that this quote came from a place called the Center of Courage and Renewal. Parker's words reflect what many of us go through in our writing as Laurie mentioned. It's words like these that keep us moving on - slogging through the mud to reach the growth waiting within us.

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  5. I'm smack dab in the plug ugly stage.

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  6. That's exactly where I am this week, and it's not pretty from here.

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  7. What a great quote! I'm in the midst of the muck right now and have been mentally threatening to toss in the towel. But this gives me hope that my muddy landscape is just the breeding ground for something beautiful. One hopes.

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