I’ve been editing my full-length novel for almost the entirety of 2016. There were personal family issues that came up during the last 8 weeks that stretched out the time frame of my drop-dead self-imposed deadlines. However, I still pushed through and made it a priority to finish the edits.
Some things I learned:
- Don’t stop. – Keep working on the project NO MATTER what is going on. Even if you only think about the project and advance the project by ONE paragraph — that’s more than you had before.
- Stop beating yourself up. – You can do only what you can do in that moment. Some say it’s being ‘lazy’, you’re not ‘pushing through’. I say, no. You are respecting your Muse and following its dictates. This is not to say, stop writing for two weeks and that’s okay. No, again. If you don’t write for a day, or two. Fine, if you’re heading towards a week (7 days) of not writing that’s when you must begin to look at the WHY of it. Still, don’t beat yourself up. See if you can identify what’s happening. This brings us to the next point…
- Try writing something else. – If you find you cannot get traction on a good word output each day, try another writing project. Maybe, you need some time, space, or more research on the project for which you cannot muster the words.
- Dreaming is a good thing. – So, you’re not supposed to start off a story with a dream. It’s been done to death, right? But, you can use the fodder from your dreams to help you with plot points, additional layers/depth for your story, or story idea generation. As you edit, your dreams and can point you to areas you’re not fully clear about and the dream may point you in a better direction. Have something handy near your bed to record your impressions!
- Create a story timeline for yourself as you do your edits. – If you have not done an outline for your writing project, by doing one as you edit, it will help you to see any plot holes, or missed opportunities to make the story better, or stronger.
- Fix your book, fix the world. – As you work on your writing project, you are getting ever closer to realizing a personal goal/dream. When you achieve your goal(s), you are now in a very different place in life. You will respond differently to things in your life. You will be able to see things from a different perspective. This alone helps you to help others around you with a similar background. So, by writing your book, you are actually promising to pay it forward and help others out by being an example of living out your dreams, and of organization and planning.
Living one’s dreams, and being consistent in one’s goals, engenders a lot of healing which can be used to help one move forward.
So, this is how I am entering the young baby that is 2017.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!