by Shirley Bahlmann
I was editing like a madwoman, holding my laptop on, well, my lap, while my youngest son was in bed. He was supposed to go to sleep, but seemed restless. (I've sat guard duty by his bedside ever since I found his older brother hiding beneath the bed wearing a glow-in-the-dark hockey mask, just waiting until I left to crawl out and scare the bejeebers out of his little brother.)
Okay, that's another post. My son flipped and flopped and sighed and moaned. Finally, he said, "Mom, will you read me a story?"
I really just wanted to keep writing, but he's only little for awhile. So on impulse I opened a new window and pulled up a novel I was halfway through writing before I started editing my son's book. I began reading out loud, and to my surprise, the first draft chapters flowed better than the single chapter I'd re-worked to death and sweated over before submitting to an editor for evaluation. That one chapter was stiff and crusty with flowery description and far too clever ways of saying things. It was a relief to get back on the smooth road of my original writing.
So, there you have it. I'm a great instinctive writer! Over-writing is unnecessary and time consuming.
So trust your instincts!
Thank you, and good night.
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