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?