I’m still not over the fact that I actually finished the rough draft of my first novel. I didn’t really want to go into detail about it in a blog post because I still don’t know how to even articulate my feelings into words (which is definitely new for me). It’s so satisfying and terrifying… I’m just a flurry of conflicting emotions. After ten months of working on the concept and drafting the novel, the end of the writing portion hit me unexpectedly, though I knew that it’d have to come eventually. Now that I started editing, I regret ever thinking that it was going to be a breeze.
Editing. Editing. Editing… What is there to say about editing? I’ve edited so many papers in my lifetime (as an English major and as a tutor) that the idea of “editing” is second-nature to me. No, I don’t edit these blog posts. No, I don’t edit everything that I write. Then how is it second-nature? When I do edit, I’m confident in it and the changes that I make. I’ve always had a process that just worked – one that I can’t really even describe because it’s so simple I can’t even think of how to describe it.
After printing the first four chapters of my novel last night (along with the preface and title page), I hole-punched them and put them in a little floppy binder. By around 1 am, I had gone through the preface and the first page of Chapter One. Not only did I realize that I just wrote whatever I wanted, but I realized that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Sure, of course I’m still terrified of anyone else reading it because I still think it’s crap, but that’s what editing is for! One more thing that I realized: I want to change so much. There are red marks all over the first six pages. Not only that, but they aren’t even things that need to be changed; they’re things that I want to change because I can. Does that make sense? I’m nitpicking. Is that a bad thing? Isn’t that something that writers do when they edit? I realize that I can’t keep doing that every single time I go over it because I’ll never get through the first page, but I can change little things that I want to when I come across them. That fact is so scary… I have the freedom to tear the whole thing that I’ve worked on apart and re-work it. That’s comforting and discomforting.
Well, this is me saying that I’ll be editing for the next few months. For you other writers who will be going through the same hell, I wish you luck. You won’t need it because I believe that you can all get it done without luck by relying on your talents, but it’s a nice thing to wish on another either way. So best of luck! Until my next blog update, know that I miss writing but I’ll be posting quotes every once in a while since I’m reading my novel on paper for the first time (which is so amazing to say!).