Years ago, when I was living in Prague, a Canadian friend and I used to do this crazy routine and quip, “That’s a load of crap, Jimmy!” That punch line had to be delivered in a very thick Scottish accent and the key was to trill the “r.” My significant other always tried to get in on the act, but failed miserably because he just couldn’t get “crap” right. It sounded more like “cwap” instead of “crrrrap!”
You can probably guess where this is leading. Now that I’ve reached 30,138 words, I have, without any doubt what so ever, written a HUGE, stinky, load of crrrrap! And just to let you know, I have no clue who the hell is Jimmy, but whoever he is, he dumped a nasty pile for me to clean up.
I confess the first 25,000 words were a thrill, but these last 5,138 felt like I was constipated and managed to give myself hemorrhoids and break a blood vessel with all the straining to get them out.
Okay, I think I’ll stop with the shit and ass analogy.
In any event, The Wilde Solution is bad. Real bad. Shockingly bad. Embarrassingly bad. Wicked Witch of the West Bad. Anton Chigurh bad. Okay, you get the idea. It sucks eggs.
The only consolation I have is that it’s a “shitty first draft.” This is Anne Lamott’s term and a chapter in her book Bird by Bird. The gist is that it’s okay that your first draft is nothing but rubbish. The second will be better and by your third draft the brilliance of your prose will blind you. In my case not the third, maybe the 10th, and I’ll settle for pretty good (well, no, not really.)
So even though I’m feeling sick to my stomach and I am writing what’s equivalent to diarrhea of words. It’s okay. It will get better. I’ll find that golden nugget among all the waste (that reminds me of the time my mother’s friend swallowed her gold crown on vacation in St. Croix. She called her doctor in New York and asked whether she should go to the hospital. His one word response, “Dig.” She found it.) So like my mother’s friend once The Wilde Solution is completed, I’ll print out the draft, and dig through the manure, and find something worth salvaging (by the way, my mother’s friend didn’t keep the crown.)
Back to shoveling some more crrrap, Jimmy!