First Draft Queen

I know it’s been a month, but I’m still struck by the fact that I had writer’s block: I’m the one that tackles the blank page and provides the rough draft for people to edit! (Isn’t it amazing how doing something for myself makes it very different!) As my friends that I have helped can attest, I have no pride of ownership when it comes to that first draft. Whether it is scarcely changed or simply serves as the inspiration to create something completely different, I am glad to have played a role in it.

Life in graduate school, where word counts were strictly enforced, taught me how to write more concisely and still get across the point. The seemingly impossible timelines (taking five classes each semester – plus writing the literature review for my thesis in the second semester) also brought home the need to use my writing time wisely: I didn’t have time for four revisions like my undergrad days.

In my day job, I am often asked to “tidy things up”. I am set free to correct grammar and punctuation and make things flow smoothly.  My favorite part is tightening the language, activating those verbs, and making a document one would want to read, rather than feeling obligated to do so.

Strangely enough, in my one and only art class, I had no desire to do rework on my drawings at all. Whatever came out on my first attempt was it.

Art Class Final - Clothes on Chair
I loved using this shadowing technique. Charcoal got everywhere!

That was where the joy was for me … the initial creation. I’d much rather start anew than alter a line, much the the chagrin of my very sweet instructor. (Considering I am a teacher’s pet, I was proud of myself for standing my ground!) I think that is why dance was a perfect artistic outlet for me: You can’t redo your competition performance, as much as I desperately wanted to in some cases!

Yet that frustrating experience of having nothing to say showed me that when it really matters to me (which this blog really does), I won’t give up, and I won’t knowingly put up crap. Whether I actually do is up to the reader to decide!

Have you ever had a time when something you consider to be your strength has failed you? or When you acted in a very un-you like manner and loved it?

4 thoughts on “First Draft Queen”

  1. HI Tammy:
    Unfortunately I am apparently afflicted with writer’s unblock. I cannot stop writing! Must be because I didn’t do it for the first 50 years of my life, but now I have to tell all endlessly! 🙂

    Keep up the good work you talented person! Art, dancing, writing…so many creative outlets, so little time!

    Laura Lee aka the Queen!


  2. You really are such an artistically diverse and talented soul. Your charcol drawing is so nice and you kow i enjoy your writing! Has a “strength” failed me? Yes. The dreaded blank page has stared me down and won many times. I hate it when that happens. Not with my blogging, but my other writing endeavors.


    1. Interesting that the dreaded blank page is restricted to other writing endeavors. So glad your blog has been such a positive outlet for you. It is for me!


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