When I write, I can tear through a manuscript pretty quickly. I have more free time as a mother of two who works full time should, and being I can write at my job if I know what I’m writing, I can put words down at a fairly acceptable pace. You would think I could crank out books, and believe me, that is one of my main goals as a writer.
But what holds me up is all the %#!*&$# editing I end up doing. I have to edit a lot because yeah, I’m still learning my craft, (I’ve complained before I feel like I’m skidding my wheels and this is a big reason why) and there’s not a lot I can do to speed that up besides doing what I’m doing. I’m learning not to head-hop, I’m learning how many points of view work in a book. I’m learning to write without all my naughty words. All of these things will help me put out a book that will reduce the amount of editing that I need before I can publish.
When I have to edit my book, I take a lot of selfies too.
One of the things that took me by surprise was that amount of time it took adding the “set it aside” time everyone recommends before reading it again. I completely understand this, and I do it myself. I’m doing it now, putting aside one manuscript while I write the next, and when I’m done writing it I’ll go back to the first. But doing this takes so much time. Who wants to take so much time? Here you have a completed manuscript, then you read it, and read it again, and even again, fixing things as you go, if you’re lucky to find them, because let’s face it, by the time you read it that many times you know what it says by heart and it could turn to Greek and you wouldn’t even notice. And now you’re supposed to set it aside for a week, a month, whatever. What are you supposed to do? All you want is to publish the darn thing.
After you think you can’t do any more with it, then come the beta readers, and if they find stuff you missed, you’re at it again. Then maybe you send it to an editor or a proofreader, and then you have to fix those things, too.
It’s nutso and when someone would tell me they’ve been working on their book for two or three or four years, I would just be, forget that I’m not doing that. But guess what? I’m doing it because I have to.
I won’t always have to.
I’m getting better. I’m learning which POVs work best, I’m learning to not head-hop, I’m learning not to write using my naughty word list.
One day I’ll get there, and a 77,000 word novel won’t take me two years to publish because I’ll have all the lessons I’ve learned already in my head as I write a new book, and I won’t have to go back and fix all those mistakes I didn’t know I was making in the first place. My career is just beginning; one day I’ll know what I’m doing.
And that day can’t come soon enough.
More articles on letting your WIP sit so you can read it with fresh eyes: