Back at it again

My phone rang this morning and notified me about the upcoming mount Everest I had to start climbing first thing tomorrow morning. It’s been 37 days since the last time I laid eyes on the first draft of my novel’s manuscript and the time has come for me to start editing and revising.

I’m gonna let that sink in for a while. Editing and revising.

The manuscript is 149k words long. I have to trim it down to 110 – 120k, no matter what, and make it more presentable. I also have to rewrite the first 10 or so chapters and condense them to 2 or maybe 3. Then carry on with the actual nit-picking. To be honest, I’m not looking forward to it. Not because I don’t like the book, but because I’m scared.

I’m scared because I think I won’t like anything from it. I’m scared because I’ve never done anything in that scale. Editing short stories somehow seem different now to me (strange, I know; after all it’s the same principle). Most of all I’m scared because I don’t know if my editing skills (which in turn mean my writing skills) are up to the task. In some ways I feel I’m back to square one where I had no work published and I was  uncertain of my ability to produce publishable material. Three publications in so far (fingers crossed to place the rest ones somewhere) and I still feel like a speck of sand that somehow has to reach the top of a mountain the size of Everest.

In those 37 days I wrote 3 short stories and finished translating one of them for a family member who doesn’t speak English, making this past November my most productive month so far. My aim with these stories is to place them all either in semi-pro or professional markets. I probably shouldn’t have high hopes for pro markets as they seem to prefer writers whose writing has something that I still lack. One thing is they have more experience in the craft than me. But I’ll try. If I do manage to get published in any of them (semi-pro or pro) then it will be a TREMENDOUS confidence boost that will reflect in the way I perceive my novel’s worth and my skill as a writer and storyteller. (The stories are now up on Scribophile, so if any of you is a member there and you’re interested in their genres, have a look at them)

Is it strange that I feel so stressed right now? Those of you who made it and traditionally published your books (fiction or non-fiction) did you feel like that as well? Am I experiencing a twisted version of what I should be feeling about the whole process? Or is it that I’m pushing myself too much, in order to prove to myself that I can do it?

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4 Responses to Back at it again

  1. Good luck with the editing phase!! I am sure you will do just fine. I am in the process of writing my first book – a memoir- and it has been fun so far as I promise myself that I would enjoy the entire experience. I am not sure where it is going to go but it is quite the trip down memory lane. Have a great Sunday!

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  2. Thank you so much for your support! I really hope things work out. Best of luck for you as well! 🙂

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  3. Chris, have you ever read Write Tight, by William Brohaugh? I highly recommend it. He helps identify extraneous words and phrases that can be cut. You’d be amazed how many words you could eliminate just by following his suggestions. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No, I haven’t heard of it, but I’ll look it up. Every little bit helps. Thanks for the follow. Much obliged for the suggestion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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