Hi there. Remember me?
I realize that it’s been a while, but just in case you’ve never heard this before, writing a book is a lot of work.
I had to dispel the illusion, just in case you happen to have also read Stephen King’s memoir, in which he makes a flippant comment that it should take 3 months to write a first draft, but that’s really not how it works. Or, at least, it’s not how it worked for me.
I am steadily moving forward with the first revision of my novel and each day’s work delights me with how much tighter my ideas are getting and how many things I can see now that I couldn’t when I was writing my first draft. I had hoped to be done by now with this revision, but life has a terrific way of interfering. But you keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually, eventually you get there. Even when there is tortuously far away and you know you just have another revision in front of you again.
One step at a time, one chapter at a time. I steal minutes when I can to work on it. I carry around a printed copy of the 668 page first draft so that I can edit anywhere, even if it’s not handy to pull out of laptop. The weight reminds me of how much work there is left to do, even though I’ve put notes of encouragement at key points. 25%! 50%! Only 100 pages left!
There have been days when I wanted to set the entire manuscript on fire. And there have been days where the revision goes so smoothly that I feel like I’m cheating someone. And sometimes, editing is both of those things simultaneously.
Perhaps this is the journey. It is my first time down this road and I feel like I’m learning from every aspect of it. Perhaps what there is to learn is more than about just the writing.