Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good and Great

A week ago I started participating in a program for athletes recovering from ACL surgery. It's for athletic patients who have finished with regular therapy, but still aren't quite ready to return to their sport. Today was my second session and I absolutely love my trainer.
Today while doing the oh-so-fun-make-your-ass-quiver hamstring towers, my trainer pointed to my right knee and asked if that was my good leg.
"Oh, no that's my bad leg," I replied.
"Anita, we don't have bad legs. Your operated leg is your good leg and your left leg is your great leg," Oh-So-Awesome-Trainer said.
I smiled at this, clenched my glut tighter, and showed that hamstring tower who was boss.

The good and great comment lifted my spirits and as I drove home from the gym, my arms so shaky I could barely turn the steering wheel, I of course thought about how this applied to writing.

Cutting Scenes
As I revise, edit, revise, edit I often come across scenes, that as much as I don't want to accept, aren't necessary because they don't contribute to character development or plot. I cut these scenes out and save them in a Word document called cut scenes. This document is a collection of scenes cut from multiple version of my manuscript and sometimes I like to go back and peruse. Usually, I think of cutscenes.doc as a trash bin, full of rotting food, maggots, and such. But, when I looked back and read through it the other day, I realized it's not all muck. There is something good in every scene. Even if the scene was putrid, the good part was that I learned form it. If I hadn't written it I would have never learned why it was so putrid.

Drawer Novels
I don't know about you, but sometimes I like to think these don't even exist. I like to pretend that I never showed such poo to my friends. But, they're awesome and supportive and still ask to this day How's the book coming? Sometimes, when I'm procrastinating from cleaning the bathroom or the litter box I'll pull out one of these relics of the past and read. The mistakes blare and I cringe. But, it's not all bad. There is some good. It's good because I sat down and wrote the freaking thing in it's entirety. It's good because I wrote it in all its awful glory and then continued to hone my skills as I writer so I could learn from my mistakes.

The CEO of the non-profit clinic I work at often says Good is the enemy of the great, so be GREAT.

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