As some of you may or may not know, I am writing a book. It’s very hard work. Before I began this process, I thought the hardest part would be writing the story. You know – figuring out what was going to happen and writing it down.
As it turns out, that is the easy part. It’s fun making up characters and deciding what’s going to happen to them. It’s fun making them say funny things, and serious things, and angry things, and happy things. It’s fun making them do brave things, and stupid things, and fall in and out of love, and make new friends, and lose friends, and experience new things. What’s hard is after the story is written – reading it and realizing that it needs A LOT OF WORK. It needs structure, and conflict, and all kinds of stuff that you never even thought about when you were writing it. Passages need to be rearranged and reworded. Sometimes whole chapters and characters need to be cut from the story. It’s hard, tedious work. And. it. takes. forever.
The hardest part, I’ve found, it finding time to do it. When I was writing my first draft, I was great at making the time. I couldn’t wait to write. As soon as I shut my son’s bedroom door at night after putting him to bed, I’d race off to my laptop and would spend hours writing. I’d often stay up until 1 am or later without even realizing how late it had gotten. But housework cannot be ignored forever. Friends, either. Most will be patient with you for a few months while you’re writing a first draft, but when it’s finished, you’re expected to be a good friend again. You’ll need to eat, also, and sleep, and at some point, you will run out of clean underwear. And that’s when you realize that you have to find some sort of a balance.
Revising has definitely been the hardest part for me. I’ve lost count, but I think I’m on my 14th set of revisions. That means going through and re-writing and editing the whole book 14 times!!!! Sometimes I think I’m getting somewhere; sometimes I think I should just delete the whole thing and start over. At some point, (hopefully), I’ll be okay enough with it to say I’m done. But it’s going to be awhile yet.