I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I shudder at even the mention of rewriting.
Ever since I knew what rewriting even was I ducked my head at the thought. Avoided it at all costs. Wallowed in anguish many an hour realizing I’ll never be a true writer because how could I ever rewrite?
I spend so much time and work with first drafts, the idea of having to just scrap most of it and keep rewriting and rewriting and rewriting is enough to send me in depression. The fact that most people do not get published until they’re practically on their 10th draft is nightmare-inducing to me.
I don’t want to rewrite. I’ve spent enough time writing it the first time as is.
Rewriting, editing, changing things, adding things, taking things away… The horror!
…Or so I thought.
I have a story that I really want to make into something. It’s special to me and I just have a great desire to completely perfect it. I want to honestly get serious with writing and maybe (maybe) attempt looking into that terrifying thing known as “trying to get published”. Now how scary is THAT?!
So, on March 29th I took a deep breath and actually started editing this novel of mine. I have done some very minor editing before, but nothing like this. This is a major editing project and *gasp* quite a bit of rewriting. *gulp*
But that first day of officially beginning the process, a Friday afternoon, as I went sentence by sentence of my prologue, attempting to do my best to change it into the best it could be, I realized something.
What?! This can’t be. I’ve been terrified of the idea for nearly my entire life! You mean it’s not actually that bad? My whole life has been a lie!
I love this story. I love these characters. Probably my favorite tale I’ve ever written. Not to say that’s it’s even that good, but something about it makes me happy. Whenever I work on this novel I feel like I’m home, surrounded by loves ones.
I first started this novel somewhere around February or March of 2011 and I think finished it by August. Since then I’ve been working on other projects. So returning to it after all this time truly felt like returning home after being gone for far too long.
Rewriting isn’t scary, it’s just a whole other level to writing. The first draft is meant to explore the surface of the story. Rewriting allows you to delve into the inner depths of it and make it truly something—revisiting old friends and discovering a much greater understanding of their stories. It’s a beautiful process, not a scary one.
That’s not to say rewriting and editing isn’t hard. I’m only on Chapter Five of the first edit through and I’ve already stumbled across some difficulties. But those always come with writing. Writing is hard. But it’s also wonderful.
To me writing is an adventure. We’ve all read enough stories to know adventures are full of hardships and all means of scary things. But they’re also full of wondrous things as well.
I don’t know if anything will ever become of this story of mine, and that’s okay. But I’m not going to stick it in the dark crevices of my laptop and let it gather cyber dust. I want it to be something, even if it’s just for me.
I’m taking one sentence at a time. That’s not so hard. Just one sentence, slow and easy. As a perfectionist, I find satisfaction in, well, perfecting things. So the fact that editing has always terrified me is almost funny. Now that I’ve started it, I’m rearing to go on other stories that need rewriting as well! I’m excited about it.
I’m not scared anymore.
I’m ready for an adventure.