There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
As a writer, we constantly hear that rewriting is key to getting things right. I don’t think any book on the shelf has ever got there as a first draft. All writers rewrite. We get to go over scenes and dialogue, tighten up the plot and pacing and, of course, make sure the spelling and grammar is as accurate as it can be. As a writer, we are God to our work – we get to make our characters do and say whatever we want, we make things happen to them and ultimately we decide whether they get a happy ending or not.
In life, however, there is no opportunity for rewriting. You get one shot and that’s it. You can’t rewrite your past no matter how much you want to. It’s pretty frustrating when you’ve been in a situation and not said that fabulous come back that you only thought of hours later or missed the opportunity to tell someone exactly what you thought of them before they left your life for good.
However, I think what works in writing can’t work in real life. We need to experience those mistakes and failures and tough times to make us who we are and help us create the future we want.
I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life’s experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life’s experiences would be a great mistake.
Rewriting is really giving yourself a second chance at things. You need to do this in writing to help you grow and develop into a better writer, just as in life you need to those tough moments so you learn and grow as a person. If you had the opportunity, to go back and change them then you wouldn’t be the person you are now.
There are still lots of moments in my past I’d love to erase or rewrite. I’d love to go back to me then and tell her what to do but I can’t and I think that’s a good thing. She probably wouldn’t have listened to me anyway!
Do you think it’s good you can’t rewrite your life or is there something you wish you could change?