I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know when I’ve written something really good. I know because it sings. I know because I feel a little in love with it. Do you feel that way, too?
This does not happen as often as I’d like it to, but when I write something good, I want to read it over and over and over. I want to take it to bed with me. I want to read it to the girl at the grocery store. I feel proud in a way that I never feel proud of anything else. (except you, LK)
Rarely do I regret something I write. There are pieces I wish I hadn’t written, things that I cringe at when I happen across them in pages that I’ve discarded. There are also things that I’ve regreted what I’ve chosen to do with. The love letter sent to someone undeserving, the poem that I stuffed into a random person’s locker, the pages that blew into a lake one summer.
The more I think about it, the more I know it. Writing is like falling in love, only you can do it over and over and over again. It is love without fidelity. Or, if one looks at the fedlity as not a specific piece of writing, but as the act of writing anything, it could be exactly like being in love and sustaining love. Or, we could look at Walt Witman, continuing to revise Leaves of Grass to his deathbed. There’s a fidelity that talks.