The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Time Capsules

By Antonios Maltezos

What was the name of that song, the one you heard often when you were writing that story? Whatever the name of the song, it’ll give you a shock and a yucky feeling when it shows up again, on the car radio. Even if the story was a thrill to write, and much of it has withstood the test of time, the skills you’ve since acquired, it’ll still leave you with a yucky feeling remembering the hassle. Because it’s writing from another time of your life, silly, and though you thought it was perfect, it could still use a rewrite. But thankfully, this ain’t real life, and we get to touch up when we revisit the past, rewriting whole passages in greater detail. We’ve lived a bit since then, so we’ll fix things. We know better now, and it’ll be easy, obvious. We’ll revive the story, and for a brief period of time, we’ll believe we can rewrite anything.


Blogger Anne C. said...

Are you trying to tell me that soon I won't be able to listen to "Skip to my Lou" with the same reckless abandon?

Thu Apr 12, 07:27:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Songs connect to memories for me. But not of writing, thank goodness. That must be an awful feeling!

I find the beginning and ending of working on a piece to be so pleasant and thrilling. That first flush of the idea! Those last few polishes! Freely improvizing and elegantly arranging/rearranging- love them both. But, in the middle. YUK! It's torture. It's so horrible that if I had a song that called it up to me again, I would stop listening to the radio and avoid public places with speakers. I try to bury those parts of the process- or I'd never write again.

Thu Apr 12, 12:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

This must be why I always write in silence.

Thu Apr 12, 12:13:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

your last line is perfect, this is the mantra that gives me courage to put it down in the first place

Fri Apr 13, 12:13:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Yes, I get this feeling when writing screenplays, because I always have a soundtrack in my mind, often procrastinating until I find 'that song, it's perfect' somewhere in my hodgepodge collection of regular and mixed cds, records, downloads and bookmarks. When I return to revise, often that 'soundtrack' doesn't fit (me and/or the story) anymore, and I'm right back at it looking for a new song.

Fri Apr 13, 02:38:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I can't listen to music (or radio, or the TV) when I'm writing. Have to focus completely on the weirdness in my mind. What I DO associate stories with, however, are events that happened when I was writing them, particularly if they have strong emotional connections.

Mon Apr 16, 03:11:00 pm GMT-4  

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