Progress: 127,136 words, Thirteen Chapters (Ten second draft, Three first draft)
As I near the end of my second draft, I feel heavier, not lighter.
There is so much work remaining. Entrenched in my editing mind, it has been difficult to create new content, and even harder to consider any chapter as nearing completion. I hesitate now to send this second draft to beta readers. I know that I need their feedback, and a certain rawness is to be expected, but I don’t want to lose any of my early readers because the work is yet to be fully formed.
Books do take years to finish, but my stomach turns with two competing scenarios:
1. The editing of this book is rushed and, due to inferior output, I never find publication.
2. I create a permanent editing loop, preventing myself from even sending the book out for consideration.
I’ve had this brain of mine for awhile now and I recognize when I’m just at a low point, and that’s what this is. I just have to keep moving forward and remind myself that multiple drafts are normal. There is good work in here and I still believe in the project, but I think I’m also allowed to hug it out with my opponent from time to time and take a breath.
Like the first time around, after completing this draft, I will take a break. Two weeks should be fine, and maybe I’ll get back to Ghost City for a bit, but I’ll still have to decide if this draft is what I send to beta readers or if they’ll have to wait for another pass. No one is really foaming at the mouth in anticipation, so I don’t need to worry about letting down fans, but there is my own pressure to contend with.
I haven’t met my editing deadlines, and this ticking clock in me has gone from metronome to detonator. With every update I give here, I feel disappointed, not accomplished. Again, I know my own head space. Sometimes that space is swirling with creative sparks. Other times it is a grinding blender, spewing self-doubt and hopeless debris.
I make this entry so that other new writers will see that confidence and diligence are waning, but they are also cyclical. I will do a dozen drafts if necessary, but I will not quit. I am committed to this story and would feel remiss if I were to let it decay in the dark corners where the ashes of unfinished books are swept.
My journey continues, and I want to see how this ends. Don’t you?
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