If you check my blog post for October 2, 2012, you will see something about one of my most important writing mentors when I was still a teenager, Lee Hays. In that blog I recount one of the most memorable things he (or anyone) ever said to me about writing. Since it was told to me more than fifty years ago, that will suggest how important it was to me. And still is.
He also gave me this advice: “After you have spent your day writing, it’s important that before you go to sleep, you believe what you’ve written is the best writing, ever. But,” he went on to say, “that only works (so you get some sleep) when, if, after getting up in the morning, and you read what you wrote the previous day, you realize it wasn’t anywhere near as good as you thought. That will get you another day of work.”
In this context: Sometimes, when rewriting, I am reminded of the Greek myth of Sisyphus, whom the gods had condemned to endlessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, where it would fall back of its own weight.
At least Sisyphus got to the top of the mountain—now and then.