Sunday, November 12, 2017

Moving Through Water

I love water aerobics. I've noticed when asked to jog across the pool that my movements are sloth slow no matter how hard I try.  This is a thing with moving through water. There is no speed. There is no hurry.  Water turns me into a slug.

I have also noticed that revising a manuscript is like jogging in water. I want to hurry, but there is no hurry. No matter how I try to rush forward, I'm slowed by the density of thoughts and words.  The water buoys my body, making movement gentle to my joints. It allows me to move like a kid again.  The words lift me up to become my best possible self. The written thoughts allow me to be more than me.

In a revision, the words hold my story. It's easier to revise for me than to write the first draft. First drafts are messy, fast, and not wholly coherent. Revision is slow. It's about crystallizing the thoughts. It's about making the most sense on the page, but it's also like being underwater. Fast movement is impossible. 

As you slog forward with the need revisions in your life, remember that slow is good. 

A quote for your pocket:

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does." 
Margaret Attwood

1 comment:

Janet Lee Carey said...

Wise words, Molly. I'm in a first draft now but look forward to the slower, deeper, revision part. I usually try to hurry that along. Your thoughts on this make sense. Thanks.