Monday, September 10, 2012

Journey Worth Taking

Its not the destination, it's the journey. That's what they say...

Recently in a small gathering with my Aspiring writer friends I proclaimed, "If writing a novel is synonymous with conceiving a child, then surely editing that same work is like performing open-heart surgery on him or her" This observation of mine received a good chuckle, but the truth it held haunts me today as I ponder the work ahead of me.

My beta readers (those that read my finished manuscript) have all been wonderfully helpful in pointing out many ways my novel can be improved. From character names and development, to plot structure and cadence, each of them have made me see that this work of fiction can be more than it currently is. Each of them seemed to be telling me that it has potential to be much more. To each of them I'll be eternally grateful for their time and encouragement as I continue down this road.

So, you ask...Why am I haunted by the process?

If I was a painter, that painted portraits or grand landscapes, I could stand back from the canvas and take it all in at once. Then I could lean in and make the smallest of corrections, bringing forth the important details that separate the Mona Lisa from my old Aunt Sally. I don't have an Aunt Sally, but my point is that I find it easy to get overwhelmed by my own work. It is difficult to hold that scalpel and know where to begin to cut into a body of 73,000+ words.

The recent crash of my home computer has not made this task easier either. But just the week before the crash, my entire computer had been back-up to an external hard drive I had purchased  - just in time. I must admit I too easily slip into the mindset of the bottle being half empty. In fact I often want to find the person who drank from my bottle and wring their neck.

I need to remember that this process is building not just a good novel, but a good writer I hope as well. And, if it was easy everyone would be doing it...right? So...with good friends to advise and encourage me in this process and God orchestrating it in His timing, now I too am saying...

It's not the destination, it's the journey. And I must press on!