I think one of the reasons my book is taking so long to edit is that I’m being too careful. I’m taking too much time, I’m paying careful attention to every line, I’m reaching too much for that unobtainable ideal of perfection. On the next story I write, I don’t think I’ll do that. I think I’ll be less careful.
That’s not to say that I won’t put out my best work. No, I intend to do that each and every time, to give you all something worthy of your time, and yes, hopefully even your money.
No, it’s because I wrote this entire story, and now I’m doing an exhaustive edit of this entire story where I’m changing much of what I wrote, all without anyone having ever read it. There might be a fatal flaw in my story which I cannot see, and I won’t know until someone else takes a look.
It’s fear that’s stopping me, probably. Fear that I’ll give this thing, this story I have worked on for so long, to my editors, and they’ll rip it apart. But they will! I’ve asked them to. I still find myself wanting to give them the best work I can though, so that they won’t look at it and wonder how I could ever think I could become a writer. Irrational fear still drives my actions.
I am a stone’s throw from finishing this edit, so I’ll see it through. Next time though, I think I’ll try something different. I think I’ll write the story, take a quick pass for major rewrites – and I mean quick, a week or two instead of months – and then give it to my main editors. It will be dirty and it will be rough, but they’ll be able to read it and give me feedback on the main thrust of the story. Then I can go back and do the careful edits with greater conviction. I’ll no longer be flying blind.
No, that’s not true. I’ll still be flying blind. Every artist is flying blind, hoping that this art they’re creating, this art which resonates with them so much, will resonate with someone out there as well. But less blind, perhaps. That’s the hope.