The Lull · 3 June 2017

Kanagawa oki nami ura; The Great Wave off Kanagawa
by Katsushika Hokusai
This work is in the public domain.

There is a thing in writing called the Lull. Or at least that is what I am calling it today. The Lull is the time between finishing one project and starting another. It is an annoying time.

I recently wrote about the effects of the Lull (see Confused), but I never really understood that there was a lull at all until I finished another project. Rather, got a project ready for editing and more editing. But the Lull is exactly what there is when one project is finished and another has not yet begun.

If you have been reading my stuff for very long, you know that I am still striving to be a mediocre writer. And even more so MediocreMan. Part of that striving is just writing. And writing. And writing. I write six days a week. Rain or shine (not that the sun is usually shining when I write). Ideas or not. And I publish something every week of the year. So I never realized that there was anything like the Lull until I started writing more books.

For any writers out there, I must reiterate that edit really is a four-letter word. Literally and figuratively. Which is one reason I like to blog. I can write a piece, read it a time or two, then put it out on the internet. My readers (both real and imaginary) will see it and might even comment on it, but it is out of my mind and I am ready for the next one. Editing is a thing of the past with blogging. Anything can go out on the interweb. Polished or not. Again, one of the great things about blogging.

But when it comes to writing books or screenplays or pretty much any other writing, there is the dreaded editing process. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. (Oops, reading the wrong directions.) Write, edit, repeat. Write, edit, repeat. Write, edit, repeat. The cycle can go on forever. An infinite loop. At least if we let it.

There is a time to stop the insanity called editing. Some people might say a piece is ready for prime time. Others say their writing is polished and ready for the world to see. I just call stuff “good enough.” Something is good enough for others to read and comment on. Something is good enough for me to put my name on. Something is good enough. Period. That is when I am finished with a book or other project. Or even a blog post.

That editing process is probably where I should be. This thing I called the Lull is really just a time when instead of looking for the next project, I should be looking at my old stuff. I should be getting books ready for print (all but one are only digital so far). I should be editing the stuff that needs to go out digitally. I should be ripping my hair out trying to figure out why the story is not what I thought it was. But such is the life of a writer who is also a blogger. I can put off all that angst with a silly blog post. Like this one.

When it comes right down to it, I can get through the Lull. All I need to do is write, post, and forget. No editing required.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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