Why I Hate Revising (a poem)

It started out so perfect,
Inspiration in the night,
I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat,
Compelled to write and write and write,
And then I reached the climax,
And then I typed “The End”
And then I found the awful truth—
The REAL work had yet to begin…

I realized that my plotline
didn’t make a lick of sense,
my characters were too cliché
my adjectives too dense,
The beginning truly terrible,
The ending really cheap,
The middle pretty awful too
(But there was a paragraph—it’s true—
on page one hundred thirty-two,
Quite beautiful and deep.)

First I took the pages
And shuffled them around,
Then I tore my heart out,
And trod it on the ground.
Then I ate some chocolate
and stared blankly at the wall,
Pondering the reason
I had started this at all.

Then I watched some Netflix
to forget about my woes,
Then I baked some cookies
and put polish on my toes,
Then I did some laundry
and made a cup of tea,
And sat staring at my MacBook screen
and wrote a word (or two, or three).

I deleted a whole chapter,
I wrote a brand new scene,
I went to wash the dishes
’cause I saw that they weren’t clean,
I visited the Blueboards,
in search of inspiration,
then killed the MC’s mother
(to give him motivation).

I moved a scene from chapter one
into chapter four,
I really didn’t think
I liked this novel anymore.
Frustration quickly settled in
and morphed into despair,
There was no way in the whole world
This horrid thing could be made GOOD
I didn’t even care!
I was a hack, I was a fraud,
I’d never find a way—
and then I had a brilliant thought
and plowed on through my problem spot,
and finished for the day.

So maybe after all there’s hope
And this isn’t just some cruel, cruel joke
And this book will finally be The One—
But this really isn’t any fun
And why on earth am I not DONE?

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