I am one third of the way through editing my novel. It’s a great milestone, but it still feels like there is so much more to do. Editing the first 33,000+ words of the manuscript has been a challenge. I haven’t felt confident in my skills as an editor and I know already that I have work to do on the second draft edit.
Still, I need to recognise my achievement. This is my first novel. I may have written one other novel draft, but this is still my first love and I’m working on it to improve those efforts. It is also the first time I’ve ever edited on such a scale. I’ve had some experience now with short stories here and there, but the stamina needed to edit a novel is very different to that of a short piece.
I think it’s important as a writer to take stock now and again. Otherwise you can get lost in the arbitrary nature of repeated actions. Either you’re consistently adding words as you’re writing, or you pouring over the details as you edit. These can be thankless tasks, ones that often don’t feel worthwhile until you get to the reassuring finality of ‘The End’ – and even then you know you will have to do it all over again.
While a part of me feels disheartened to know I’m only one third of the way through the initial editing process, there is another part that is whispering, “Well done, you’ve got this far you can make the rest.” I feel like I’ve been editing for so long already, and to know I have to double this time spent in order to complete the draft in total is difficult to take. But, I have made it this far. And if I can make it this far, I can carry on and get to the half way point – then after that I’m always closer to the end.
Tonight, however, I’m not going to dwell on how much I have left to do. I’m going to celebrate how much I have already done. I’ve worked hard and I deserve some recognition: even if it’s only from myself. I’m going to take a little rest and relax my shoulders and smile. Because I can do this.
After all, I’ve made it this far…