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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Back in the (Writing) Saddle Again

Technically, the editing saddle.

I put away all thoughts of writing one year ago.  I needed to make changes in my health, and while I didn't realize it at the very beginning, I soon realized that taking care of my health was the equivalent of another full time job (no joke--all health related aspects take up over 40 hours a week--the equivalent of a 2nd full time job).

Needless to say, even if I wasn't burned out from writing, there was literally no room in my schedule to write.

Fast forward one year.  I'm still not sure if re-starting my writing life is the right thing.  What I do know is that the first draft manuscript I completed in March 2012 has been sitting in cold storage all that time, and can never be shaped into a saleable novel until I go over it--again and again.

This month is NovelTrack-Editing through American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).  It is a professional organization of writers of Christian fiction, and NovelTrack is an accountability loop where we commit to edit a certain # of pages per month and encourage one another on.

I took baby steps--committing to editing only 50 of the over 500 pages of this manuscript.  It will be the first of many editing passes because I write very, very messy first drafts.  And today I've edited the first 9 of those 50 pages.

It's weird coming back to writing after so long a layoff, but looking at my manuscript again reignites the hunger for word-play that drives all writers--the hunger to say something important, to touch a life through the spinning of words.

My life isn't any less crazy a year later--if anything it's crazier because now I'm ALSO trying to find time to learn to play the banjo.  But somehow, I've got to carve out a little time each week, chipping away at the manuscript bit by bit, and realizing I'm not in a race.  Someone else may be able to produce a book a year.  Maybe I can only produce a book every 5 years.  Whatever.  I'd rather slowly move forward like a tortoise then leave my manuscript forgotten in a file.  I've put in too much time and work to give it up permanently.

So we'll see if I meet my 50 page editing goal by June 30th.  I'll know in 29 more days. 8-)

Happy writing (and editing) everyone!


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