Fifty full pages I can’t bear to see;
Fifty whole pages I can’t bear to read.
Fifty dull pages of blood sweat and tears,
Angst and distraction and graduation fears.
The words of tomorrow? The millstone, a test
Of discipline: failed, and after a rest
I see strong and clear the thing that I need –
To write fifty pages whose words I can read.
True story – to this day I still don’t know what my undergraduate senior thesis contains, because I can’t stand to read the damn thing. I literally fall asleep over it, every single time. It’s one of those happenings which is hilarious, in someone else’s life.
It is easy to write one unreadable page. It is actually quite hard to write fifty. I now have exactly one criteria for a piece: I must enjoy re-reading it.
Perhaps the fifty full pages taught me something after all.
Feel free to share what you have (or haven’t) learned from your own unreadable pieces!