On Not Quitting

I came across this quote yesterday by Richard Bach: A professional author is an amateur author who didn’t quit. I couldn’t have seen it at a better time.

Editing and rewriting my book has been hard. Even now, looking now at one of the pages of my manuscript, I see all of the notes on how I need to expand certain parts (I wrote a post about that) and cut others, how I have to get deeper into the characters’ thoughts and actions, how I must add a lot more description.

That I took those notes in red ink doesn’t help (as I had been warned). It looks angry. It looks aggressive. It looks like blood has been splattered across the page.

But let’s get back to the edit and rewrite.

This part of the writing process has become unenjoyable. I feel more like someone trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together than a storyteller. And as much as I usually love puzzles (and critical thinking games, actually), I like storytelling even more.

But I have to make sure that I explain why Orik isn’t wearing gloves while he’s trekking through the snow. I need to check that Peter has his ball in his pocket when he goes to bed because he has it there when he wakes up.

These things are important.

They’re also hell.

I suppose I could make things easier on myself by hiring an editor. The problem is that I’m a bit too stubborn for that. Even though I hate this part of the process, I’m determined to get through it.

That may mean that I sit in front of my computer for an hour or two, swearing about how things are getting more and more complicated. It might also mean that I’m going to go online to find someone to talk to about it with. Or that I’m going to write a blog entry.

But I am determined to get through it.

Hmm…let me think about this in a more positive light.

I’m working on something I love. Something that means a lot to me. I can do anything I want with it. Shape it any way I please.

I have no deadline. I have no rules.

I don’t really even need to have any expectations.

All I need to do is enjoy it. Not the editing, per se. But the story. I need to connect with it. Feel it.

I need to write something I’d like to read.

Hmm…let me think about that a little more. It seems pretty simple now that I’ve written it down. I actually feel a bit bad for starting of this post the way that I did.

Enjoy it. That’s definitely simple enough.

Okay, all better now. Rant over.

2 thoughts on “On Not Quitting

  1. C.S. Wilde September 12, 2016 / 11:03 am

    Well, it’s like any other profession, there will be things you’ll enjoy and things you won’t. It’s part of the process. Just make sure to edit and revise, even if it sucks (boy, I know it does) but also show it to CPs and then hire an editor to make sure your work is the absolute best it can be ; )

    • Michael McManamon September 12, 2016 / 11:06 am

      You’re definitely right about all of that. I’m still not sure about the editor though. That’s something I’m going to have to give more thought to. (I wish I wasn’t so stubborn. Maybe it’s time for a change. 😉)

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