NaNoWriMo ended two months ago. It feels like an eternity has passed but it hasn’t been that long. And that time has been spent reading and re-reading the manuscript I wrote. And it seems that every time I do so, the errors jump out at me. Sometimes it’s just the usual grammar error, or the prose could be better, or a dreaded plot problem, but all of it is draining. I’m so excited when I sit down to write something for the first time – the ideas are all fresh and everything seems positive. But when it comes to editing my work I feel like I’m in the stage of the relationship where I’m sick and tired of being with them all the time and I just want to break up and get it over with. Most of the time I’m just tempted to move on to my next project and abandon the work I’ve already done.
But through the whole editing process I feel like I learn more about myself. I refine how I see the world and how I express myself in a way that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It’s like I’m whittling away at my imperfections to make something that becomes beautiful. Sure it’s painful, but it’s also necessary.
And having a partner in the process helps too. I recently had a friend of mine beta my novel. It was scary for me. Letting someone read your writing is like letting someone take a peek at your soul. It puts you in a vulnerable position. But it’s also absolutely necessary if you want to share your work with others. The feedback my friend gave me helped me gain insights I wouldn’t have otherwise reached and showed me the weaknesses I wouldn’t have perceived. In a way editing is a small slice of what life should be like – self-examination and consultation. It’s certainly not easy. Life is busy. I have other things to do. But I try to remind myself how important it is to get this done because it takes me one step closer to publishing and ultimately to attaining what I want out of life.
One thought on “Writing Update: Musings on editing”
I’m right there with you. I’ve spent my writing time in January editing my NaNoWriMo novel, and it certainly is quite exhausting. Like you, the goal of publishing and having that writing career is what is keeping me going! Good luck with your editing, revising, and publishing plans!