The Edited Writer and a Whole Season of Growth

I edit myself for this blog. It’s part of why I go by EditCassandra. I don’t spend my working life editing only other people. I know writers need to be edited, and I actually practice what I preach. To a fault, mind you. I’ve edited myself so much that I’ve been silent in this corner of the Internet for months.

I Hate Facebook Syndrome and the Gray Area

I haven’t been writing here because I’ve been so scared of Facebook syndrome.

You know Facebook syndrome. It happens when you can’t get through three posts in your feed without slamming your psychic head against a barrage of negative shit. The online world turns into a record of daily (or hourly) slights and frustrations, complaints and sob stories.

Or the pendulum swings so heavily the other way it’s a different kind of frustrating. All you can see is post after post of your high school friends, distant cousins, and online acquaintances who seem to be living their best lives and putting their best selves forward, with pictures and memes that drip positivity and passion (god, I am so over that word) for their jobs, their kids, their everything-you-don’t-have-and-aren’t-doing (which, from the looks of it, is a lot).

When it comes to writing, I have a hard time finding the middle ground. I have no gray area between the black of complaining and the white of exalting when it comes to telling my own story.

Not quite Facebook whining

An attempt at a Facebook gray area

So I’ve kept mostly quiet. I haven’t had a lot of nice things to say. That’s what I’m getting at. I like to keep this blog somewhat personal and somewhat professional, but always as whine-free as possible—real but not too real. Like I said. Edited.

And yet, edited transitions so seamlessly into blocked.

Who Isn’t Stressed These Days?

If the basic definition of stress is change, good or bad, then I’ve definitely had a ton of stress in the past six months.

Work is always there, stressing me out with its short-term panic-inducing deadlines and my heaps of chronic existential angst about wanting to find meaning in what I do for 40 hours a week. On top of that usual grind, on two separate occasions I had a family member in and out of the hospital while trying to finish a freelance cookbook edit and navigate my full-time job.

What am I, a wizard?

Maybe I am.

 

Awesome growth courtesy of my neighbors and a Chicago summer

A whole season of growth

Human Writers Grow, Struggle, and Grow Some More

I’m still standing, and growing, just maybe a little less publicly, a little more silently. A whole season of growth is in this post, not to mention all the other half-started posts I’ve got in notebooks and Word files. Posts in which I ramble on about books. Books I’ve read or want to read. Books that offer distractions, lifelines. Words from authors who keep reminding me that the building blocks of a creative life come from stress and challenge after challenge. It’s all material, but I know it takes time, distance, perspective, and a whole lot of self-care to go from crisis to inspiration to draft to finished.

And am I ever finished? Do I have to be polished, perfect, shiny, complete, here in my creative work, out there in the world? Instead of holding back, waiting, editing (always editing), can I offer a picture of growth, struggle, and change, to show that I’m a human writer after all?

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