Last week, I embarked on a new experience in this writing journey, polishing a novel with the services of a professional editor’s substantive edits. I am encouraged by her enthusiasm for my work and faith that I’ll make another leap forward in this draft, but I’m still fighting self-doubt. This should be one of the easier steps in the process; the plot is pretty much there, so all I have to do is make it shine and rework the ending. For the most part, I paid for directions on how to proceed. So why am I so nervous?
Part of my anxiety is no doubt caused by a new diet and workout program, which is wearing me out. I see a parallel between the desire to get fit and the desire to polish this novel. I decided to join Farrell’s because my own training program was failing to get rid of my writing pouch (we’ll say “writing” and not “food lovers” because we writers need the extra carbs for the mental gymnastics we perform all day long, right?). Similarly, I hired C.L. Dyck to edit my novel because my own attempts put together a semi functional story, but with knots and blindspots I could neither untie nor evaluate because of inexperience and being too close to the project.
Farrell’s has been great because there is accountability to show up to class, to mark down what I’m eating, and to keep me going full-speed for the whole 45 minute workout. I’m already seeing results going into my third week, and there is a level of confidence there because I’ve surpassed the dreaded second week. All I have to do is keep doing what I’m doing at this point and pray I don’t get injured.
So, I was thinking about my approach and initial success so far with Farrell’s, and how to replicate that in my writing. The bottom line, however unhelpful it may seem, is that I just need to get up and do it. That was “easy” to do on Saturday with a nearly whole day open to work, and I did well, writing 1600 new words into my first chapter. The rest, I guess, is just picking away at problems on a case by case basis. I have plenty of support if I have questions along the way. So, here I go. It would be nice to finish before the end of the year.
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