“Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open.” (from Stephen King’s book “On Writing”)
I get that, I really do. At the moment I am rewriting, and thus am in the process of opening that door. Of course it is stuck and stuffed, locked and latched, and crammed and jammed. And it has a fucked door jamb. My rewriting is accordingly a little too much like writing.
Writing advice is a weird universe all of its own. I mean you can read one piece of advice, and then find the diametrically opposite piece of advice, argued for just as persuasively. You begin to feel like a golfer who is off his game – well meaning mentors are whispering stuff in every one of your ears that they can find. Take a more relaxed stance, take a stronger stance, crouch more, stand up straight more, breathe in as you strike, breathe out as you strike, have sex the night before a big tournament, don’t have sex and instead sleep with your golf clubs. For every ying, there is a yang. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. To every Universe there is a parallel Universe, and probably golf doesn’t exist in that other Universe.
Mr King also says that writing needs to be intimate, like skin on skin. I get that, I embrace that, and I know he’s right. But how can I do that kind of intimacy with the door open?
And also, how can I not?