Editing my Novel:
Update - September 15, 2021:
You guys! I've actually been doing it! Editing! A little every (most) nights since Spring this year. Something clicked. When I go to bed sometimes I have that surge of creative energy but it's too late. I need to sleep. Well. Here's the thing. No, I didn't need to sleep right away. I usually read before bed, at least a couple pages in whatever book I have on the night stand. Why couldn't I do a little editing then too? So I did. And I kept at it steadily for months. Momentum dropped off in August like everything does for me in August and I haven't gotten back at it as regularly, but I'm still working at it. I fixed up the really messy early parts and figured some stuff out with the characters. At the moment I'm stuck on a chapter that I knew would be a tricky one. But I know I'll get through it because I sorted out whatever that beginning was. I'm taking it a chapter at a time because that's how I roll right now, breaking it down into manageable parts. I guess that's how it should be done, whether it's by chapter or whatever bits you'd break it into. The whole is so overwhelming. More than halfway through this heavy, meticulous pass through. I can do this.
November 18, 2019:
National Novel Writing Month happens every November: write a novel in a month. In 2013 I gave it a shot and succeeded. Woo! It was crazy! I went a little crazy. I didn't know what I was doing or where I was going or even what the story was about. But I did it and it felt amazing. Really amazing, like one of the biggest achievements of my life. I never thought I could write that much. Fifty thousand words is a lot of words and they're all my words.
Off and on since then I've picked it up to read through and attempt to edit. My drive would last maybe one or two sittings and then I'd get overwhelmed and not know what to do and put it away again. Not much progress has been made to make it readable. Lately, though, I've had more energy towards it and even read a book on self-editing and have started an old college text book of my husband's on writing fiction. Trying to educate myself. The books have helped, and I don't feel as overwhelmed with the process and I know and understand some things to look for. So it's a work in progress.
It seems to be about mental health--anxiety, depression--with heavy sci-fi, fantasy, and horror elements. You know, space travel, teleporting, evil beings. Sort of a mix of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Alice in Wonderland and my life.
I would love to finish the story someday and have it made into a book. I'm leaning towards self-publishing just because that seems more my speed. I don't know. I've got a lot of work ahead of me before I can seriously start thinking about that. But wouldn't it be amazing to find something in a bookstore with my name on it?
October 6, 2019:
Since 2015 I have been writing everyday. It started with an attempt at The Artist's Way, a well-known course designed by Julia Cameron to help people through those big projects and to keep creating, everyday, to make it a way of life. Well, I ended up keeping on with the writing practice. Only made it through week two or three of the book. At the time I was dealing with bad anxiety and depression and was needing outlets to process all that was going on, to get it out of my head, so I could be more present in my day and with my creative work. It's been good, and apparently something I needed since I'm still doing it. It's part of my therapy but also something creative I do everyday. The few days I've missed are major holidays and my son's birthday. Or too early mornings up and out the door for something. Even then I'll try to write a page before bed.
The task is to write three pages every morning. I do this after breakfast. It's the earliest in my day that I can do. (Mornings are poop.) I write three pages by hand in a spiral bound college ruled notebook. My preferred pen is a Bic Atlantis ball point pen, the classic one. I'm left-handed and have a complicated relationship with pens. And I write in cursive, which was something I hated so much in elementary school. I like it now. It's good and flowy for getting words out. It's also harder to read. Which is good and bad. It feels more private but I also have trouble reading it. My letters tend to blend together into one hump.
Morning writing has helped me solve creative problems, sort out mental health stuff, become a better me, and has improved my ability to get words out, to become a better writer. It's amazing how I can present a problem, write it out to myself, see where my brain takes it, let my hand write the words out, and then something revolutionary will come out on that third page. Other times it's just me saying that I'm at the end of the page. Hooray!