deconstruction & reconstruction
As I’m working on revising and re-revising my novel, deconstructing and reconstructing the paragraphs I’ve already poured so much blood, sweat, and tears into, and, at times, wondering if I will ever reach the end of this seemingly never-ending journey, I find myself contemplating the process of building a house.
(Keep in mind, I’ve never built a house myself—but I have an idea of what it entails.)
First, you put up the structure. In a relatively short amount of time, you build something out of nothing. You can see your house take shape. It’s exciting, and you feel like you have something to show for! You’re motivated to keep going.
Slowly, but surely, you fill in the gaps. You put up the walls and the roof. The house becomes solid. Tangible. Each room inside begins to take on a personality of its own. You can start to picture yourself living there.
But then comes all the detail work. You have to pick the paint, the flooring, the light fixtures, the appliances... even the minute details, like light switches.
The floor boards arrive, and you install them—just to realize when you’re almost finished that they don’t quite line up, and you have to take out a big chunk and do it over.
You enlist outside help—a plumber, an electrician. They tell you some of your work needs to be ripped up and redone if you don’t want to end up with problems down the line. So you do it, because you want this house to be the best damn house that it can be! You want it to stand the test of time. You want to be comfortable in it, and you want others to enjoy its comforts when they visit. You also want it to be esthetically pleasing—both to your own eye and the eyes of passersby.
Meanwhile, you’ve painted the kitchen, but the color is not quite right, so you add another coat of paint. And on, and on, and on…
Even once you’ve finished, there will be small details that catch your eye that could have been polished up more. That could have been done better. But you did your very best and gave it your all, and it’s your life’s work—and, hopefully, you’ll give yourself credit for all that you invested in time, energy, resources, and dedication to build something. To create something out of nothing, because you had a vision, and you were passionate enough to bring it to life.