Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 4, 2008

Oh Lovely Lovely Mess

Finishing up a manuscript, there are moments of grace when I feel like a reader, sliding along, flipping pages of a good new book. I forget, at moments, the words were first put down by me. They just seem right.

Then I go back to a fussy tight feeling as I worriedly check word placement and spelling and punctuation. Going back and forth with a sweeper. Just as you can never get every last bit of dust and dog hair, I know there are mistakes. I move back and forth, back and forth, checking, checking, checking with a detective’s close eye. I’m tired of this scene.

At last I call the piece done. Perfect enough for now, it’s, time to move on. After all that cleaning up I’m happy to be making a grand mess again. I can spell words any way I want now. Who cares about punctuation? Run-ons and fragments – yay! Inconsistent characters, change of seasons mid paragraph. So what? Trying this, trying that, dropping things where they fall, then deleting whole passages. What revelry, what fun, to begin a new book.

Oh luddly beginnings – stop the spell check! O gimmers as well as glimmers of hope.



  1. Yay–how fun. I think its the difference between having to listen to that voice, the one that says, yes, you have to stop and fix it, it matters and being able to tell that voice to shut up, because it doesn’t matter now. 🙂

  2. Yes, you’ve got it. How fun is it to say — shut up, step in line and stay there, you — even if just to one of my own voices.

  3. Isn’t that the most amazing feeling, to read something and forget, just for a moment, that it was something you wrote?
    Yeah you!

  4. Thanks! The feeling has passed, of course, so it was sweet of you to remind me… it did happen!

  5. I know how it feels!
    The best part about this messy stage? It all belongs to you. (hey, it’s a mess. But it’s my mess!)

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