The record is only playing one song…

I intended to write a project for NaNoWriMo, then I realized there are three novels that need edits. I hit 5k on the NaNo project but it will have to wait until I’ve edited the three novels.

It will take me a while before I’m able to tackle something of long form. I have ideas for more novels, one that I know will be the next one I write.

I wrote two novels this past year, both of them need editing. One of them still needs a first pass.

I have a big fear in doing this: I often worry something won’t get written because I’m editing or writing short form. I’m not sure where this idea comes from. I’ve written about it before.

I have stories to write. and one of my goals for this year is being published. This hasn’t happened. I believe its because I haven’t been editing.

I’ve talked about this editing issue numerous times. I thought it would interfere with my creative process, what I’ve learned is it’s part of my creative process. Without learning how to fix story issues I’d have fifty novels written, none edited, which was where I was headed before making this decision.

For the rest of the year I’ll only be writing short stories, focusing on improving my problem areas, narration, dialogue, and visuals. I’ll be editing the three novels into the new year. The short stories I’m writing will go through an editing process after I feel the novels are in decent shape.

I love creating new stories, but I don’t want to have fifty novels written and none of them edited. Yes, my writing is improving, thanks to the writing group I joined and determination, but I feel its time to step away from writing novels for a while. It’s time edit the work I’ve already done.

I want what any writer wants, I want to see my books published. They won’t get there without improvement.

I’m breaking this record, it keeps skipping and coming back to haunt me. If you’ve read my recent posts, you’ll understand.

Back to work my Wretched.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I follow a lot of various motivators on social media, Gary Vaynerchuk, Lewis Howes, Tom Bilyeu, and others. I follow these people for various reasons. I love Gary’s honesty, Lewis Howes the same. I follow Tom because I love his podcast.

There is something that’s been nagging me about following these motivators. I shouldn’t need them. I should be able to write without having someone tell me to keep going.

But that’s the problem, I don’t. It doesn’t compute that I can’t do this myself. I need that kick in the ass every once in a while.

Today was a good example. Gary posted on Instagram about doing one thing that makes you uncomfortable.

My thing is editing. I feel like the time I spend editing is the time I could be writing. I also feel that I’m doing it wrong. That there is some magical formula to editing. After writing seven novels, I feel like it should get easier to edit, it doesn’t.

The fact that I’ve written seven novels and I’ve only submitted one of them to agents is appalling to me. It didn’t use to be. I thought I’d get better at writing through writing, I was wrong. I get better through editing.

It’s taken me thirteen years to realize this. It shouldn’t have taken this long.

When I finished my first novel, a vampire book that I love, I thought I’ll just keep rewriting. There are 8 drafts of that novel on my hard drive. None of them will ever come out. At the time there was no one, other than my wife to bounce ideas off of. Now that I have a writing group, I feel like I can do this.

Editing is the hardest part of writing. The taking away of pieces I loved in the draft, moving them around and creating a coherent, cohesive story is more important than writing something new.

I hate that it has taken this long to understand this.

Here’s what I’ll be doing to finish, truly finish the last three novels I’ve written: By the end of March 2019 I’ll be editing each novel through my writing group. I’ll post the progress on Delusions of Ink for each project.

What are you doing that makes you uncomfortable? Tell me in the comments. Let us keep each other going.

How Fear Drove Me From “Finishing” a Novel

  
Creating a world from nothing means eventually we have to show it to someone.

How we deal with their comments and whether we understand how they’re trying to help us is all on us.

One year ago, I had my cousin go over one of my stories. It’s a novel and I love the story, but having someone critique it, well, I guess I wasn’t ready for it.

I’ve thought about that story more recently.

The red sand, dancing pictures and who each character is have come to mean something to me and after a year of stops and starts on other stories, it’s time.

Each story is different for every writer, this one left me wanting to write more. I wanted to walk with them, discuss what they were doing and hear them ask, “Why’d you abandon us?”

My only answer, “Fear, I feared going back. Putting you on a table and cutting bits and pieces from who I thought you were and the thought of changing you, well, it scared the shit out of me.”

“But, we were supposed to go places, see things?”

“It’s only temporary. I’m ready to do the work, now that the writing is done it’s time to cut in, take things away and create something worthy of how I see you.”

“Okay, if that’s what you need to do. We’re ready too.”

This conversation may or may not have happened, the point is that a story we create, characters we live with for months and people we learn to love, sometimes we have to kill our darlings.

Killing them, gutting them and distributing who they are around the story, to make it better, that’s why I write.

The hardest part of writing is the killing, gutting and making the story into a cohesive piece of work, rather than an amalgam of what we think it should be.

The story, its characters, what their role is and how each puzzle piece fits into the story, that’s the important stuff, that is what makes us finish something and send it off.

I forgot that and now that I’ve had my discussion with the story, I’m ready to do the work, clean it up and send it off.