Practice and Distance

In March, when I started Kindling, the formatting baffled me. I spent hours fiddling with font and spacing. I'd get it the way I wanted, and then was unable to put it back. My post Surprised by Orange, for instance, turned several subsequent posts orange. Trying to change it back felt like unknotting a long, frustrating string that kinked my fingers and wearied my eyes.

So what did I do? I left it. I swallowed my initial reaction to fuss and fix. I couldn't blog like this - sheesh! - I had writing to do.

Just now I went back and fixed a couple of those March errors. Took me ten minutes. No prob.

If I had insisted on fixing it all, back then, I would have quit the blog. I didn't have the practice needed to easily identify and fix the errant marks. I didn't have my system down. And I was too close to the problem.

This is why I say: you must not insist on doing all your revision as you go along. Many things should be saved for later, when your skills are strengthened and you can easily solve the problems. If you try to resolve everything now, you will spend inordinate amounts of time on details that will drain your energy. Sap your passion. You'll stall out.

To revise, you need practice and distance. And it's - sigh - so much easier. All your fonts need not be forever orange, but see if you can put up with it . . . just for awhile.

Write a story with soda pop in it. Leave your mistakes alone - to be fixed later. Have a sip of Kindling orange soda.

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