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Editing struggles

standard December 17, 2009 1 response

In the middle of everything I’m dealing with, there is a book. It calls to me from inside the computer. It wants me to pay attention to it, fix what’s wrong with it, brush up what’s almost there, and acknowledge what’s good.

I want so badly to just sit down and work on my novel. I’m itching to act on the feedback that I have received from my alpha readers. And it’s fun to get back into it. I love writing fiction. I love spending time with my characters in the story I crafted. I love discovering a plot point that had escaped me the first time around. I love tightening sentences, perfecting descriptions, and taking care of everything else that catches my eye as I read. It’s the same high I used to feel when I was writing the thing in the first place.

But at the same time I just want to be done with it.

I still deal with the constant tug between paid work and working on the novel. I have a limited amount of time to write and sadly the paid stuff tends to take precedence. If I could just be done with the book and start shopping it around it could suddenly flip from being my pipe dream hobby to an actual potential source of income. I’d have the luxury of setting aside two or three hours to work on a new novel without feeling guilty about using my time frivolously.

As much as I want to call “good enough!” I’m not there yet. Every time I open the file and dive into the story I find a hundred little things that need to be tweaked and reworked. Today I even discovered a major plot change that needed to be hammered out.

It’s not impossible that I could send out a query tomorrow and get a few nibbles. I could even get some people to ask to see the full manuscript. But I’d know that the book wasn’t as good as it could be. I’d know I hadn’t given it all the attention and time that it deserved.

So, for the time being, I shall ignore the voices in my head that are screaming that income is the only thing that shows whether something has been worthwhile and I shall try to find some time every day to devote to this book. Because, the day that it’s printed and sold, what’s going to make me smile isn’t the money in the bank, it’s knowing that people are reading my story and loving it. And on that day I want to know that they’re reading my best work, not my “good enough” work.

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1 response

  • Nice perspective, and very exciting!

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