fantasies / revising / writing

Revising My Book, Revising My Life

I’m revising my manuscript, yes. I’m sitting in the back corner of the café, at a prime table near an outlet, though I’m sure I’ll head out soon to my weekend writing spot once the crowds get worse. I have my pages stacked beside me, my mocha already drained, and I am wearing one of my most favorite writing outfits: schlumpy pants with 7+ pockets, mismatched socks, and b+w striped hoodie. Under a revising emergency I will put the hood up.

No emergencies yet—revising is delightful. Seriously. I’m just working really slowly, and I’m looking for typos as I go too, even as it’s my curse to never be able to catch my own typos, though I’m paid to find other people’s. I must have some sort of typodismorphic disorder.

With revising taking up so much space in my head, it’s recently occurred to me how helpful—and convenient—it would be if there were a similar revision process for the whole rest of my life.

I’d take notes from trusted people, sit down with myself in a corner of the café, and rework the things that needed fixing, chop here, clarify there, smooth and finesse and pick out my flaws like typos.

There’s lots more to revise on me than there is on this manuscript.

For one, appearance. Oh, my, do I need to be spruced up. I would revise my life to include a love for the gym so I could get back in shape. Maybe I’d revise myself into pilates.

I’d revise my haircut, for sure. I’d revise my lack of interest in dressing nice into a flair for fashion, or at least making more of an effort to wear skirts. I’d revise myself out of biting my nails.

But that’s just the surface. That’s all “style and no substance,” as a callous writing teacher once said to my young self and crushed me. (I’d revise that class from my memory.) I’d have to go in deep with this revision, I’d have to be vicious. I’d revise far back into the past, fixing every little mistake. I’d totally revise myself a driver’s license.

The revision would not touch my relationship—E stays. I will fight to the tooth to keep him. (Is that a saying? I don’t think it is. “Fight to the tooth,” what tooth? I’d have to revise my vocabulary too, obviously.) E will be kept as is in the manuscript of my life. There is nothing about him I would revise, not a word.

I had to revise myself out of the café, by the way, before I finished typing up this post, because a man took the table right beside me and was six inches away from my screen. It felt like he wanted to write the book with me!

I went to my writing spot, where the internet was down—and will be downed till Monday. I revised. And I’m the same person I was this morning. But I’m making progress in pages.

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