I finally got up the courage and the time to review my novel after almost six weeks of being away from it. I believe with all my heart that this was a wise choice, because it has made me view this writing with fresh eyes. When we’re in the process of creating something, we do our best put all our thoughts down – to fill the story with the required word count – to grab the interest of the reader – to edit, revise and cut things that don’t belong. You think you’re done, but you’ve just begun.
I experienced a feeling of accomplishment when I hit the 60,000 word count. I went back to check for grammatical and spelling errors. I found words that I had overused and replaced them. I felt confused on some parts of the story. It felt disconnected especially at the beginning. I made use of a couple people who were interested in reading it in hopes of getting honest criticism. I put it away reluctantly and waited. Then I waited some more.
Yesterday I put my focus on reading objectively. I wondered about everything. This masterpiece I thought I’d created was far from it. I will continue to edit and probably put it away again. I am exploring many options for eventually publishing this work, but the more I investigate, the more confused I get.
My husband and I are on the same mission. We make art. He does so with a paint brush, his education on the subject, his lifelong experience and sometimes a hammer and chisel. I have chosen to express myself through words. We both try to scrape a living out of it. I tend to listen to my husband, because he has experienced success and failure. He knows the ins and outs of business and he’s very smart. He bestowed his wisdom on me by telling me that our work may never be done. No matter how many strokes of the brush or how finished you think you are, there is always room for improvement.
I have also worked at my passion of writing for most of my life. For the past 70 years I’ve invested time, sweat, thoughts, words into blogging, playwriting, screen writing, poetry, stories and now this. I’m one of those old fogies who want instant gratification and getting a job done as fast as possible. Part of that has to do with moving on to the next thing. Some of it is the result of a strongly engrained work ethic. Some can be attributed to wanting some monetary gain from it. I don’t consider it a hobby nor does my husband. It is our life.
Our aging bodies are telling us we can’t physically do the things we were once capable of. Because of that we must change our way of living. No longer are there the long rehearsals, making costumes, writing plays, creating a set. Those things have been set aside due to energy level and just plain not being capable to keep up the pace any longer. For me, the logical answer is to write.
We still have our minds thankfully. We also have a wealth of information from our experiences. We have done the growing up, thinking we knew it all and running into obstacles big and small. Now is not the time to put it away forever. God has granted me more time on this earth for a reason.
So I will continue to edit, revise, maybe even completely redo, because this is what I do.