You hear all this talk about writer’s block. It’s a common phenomenon that seems to plague pretty much every writer at some point in their lives – for most writers, at a lot of points in their lives. I don’t hear so much about editor’s block though . . . I think I have it.
I decided to do a read through of my novel draft. I wanted to just read it through, get a feel for the flow, the order of things – it very quickly turned into editing and rewriting. As a result, it’s a lot slower going than I planned and I’m not really getting ‘the experience’ of the story the way I wanted. I think, however, that this probably means it needs an edit before the story can be properly experienced.
Part of my frustration had been the little netbook I was using to do that editing (as well as all my other work.) If I needed to go to another part in the 329 page manuscript I could wait 20-30 sec. to get to it. Now opening the file up in the first place? That could be a minute or two. And if I wanted to switch pages to my browser to check on the name of a town, the year a particular restaurant was open to make sure my character wasn’t eating in a place that hadn’t even been built yet, well, it was a good 45-60 second wait for said page to load, said search to occur, and several seconds more to get Word opened again to make the change.
“Good novels are not written, they’re rewritten.”
So, finally fed up with the time all this wasted (and the time it wasted during the articles I was writing and editing for my ‘real’ work) I spent almost all day searching for a fast new computer. And it’s great! I can get so much more done, I can start to do a task and actually do it before the time waiting for a page to load sends me to another task. I love it. I love it so much I spent a large part of yesterday reading tons of information and advice on the art of editing. I even downloaded a 52 page book on editing and read it all. It was excellent. I highly recommend it. Needless to say, I didn’t get any actual editing done. I justified that fact by the truth that my editing will be better now that I’ve done all that reading, and it will.
Today I woke up with intentions to get through three chapters before going through the to-do list for my contract work. A phone call stopped me before I’d started so I did that interview and thought – well, I’m on a role, I’ll get my to-do list done first and I did. I had an amazingly productive day, largely thanks to my new computer – I affectionately have named it Turbo.
To-do list completed, I opened up my manuscript. I got through one chapter and decided I needed a snack. Said snack didn’t seem to agree with me and I went to bed to try to sleep through a horrible stomach ache. I woke up feeling considerably better and headed to my computer. I opened up the manuscript and thought, you know – my files are a mess – now that I’ve got Turbo I should use his speed and ease to make everything organized. It will save time in the future. (. . . I guess I just decided Turbo’s male – makes sense – I’ll probably be investing more time into this relationship than with any other, including my fella – if you’re reading this don’t be jealous!)
Files organized, I realized I’d yet to write a blog and here I am. I’m determined to get through those chapters as soon as I publish this. Oh! The oven timer just went. I guess dinner’s ready . . .
Please tell me I’m not the only one who deals with writer’s block! How do you deal with it? What advice have you gleaned? Why do you think it’s so hard to get past despite the fact that we really want to see our stories ready for other eyes? – I have my own ideas about that – but I’d love to hear yours!