Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I am not a good decision maker. I have to make them, and do make them, but it takes me forever and I always worry I've made the wrong choice. This, I suppose, is pretty standard.
So this brings me to editing, which is what I have been doing for several weeks now, and why I've been remiss in posting. I've always edited things. I was in university for 4 years, had my parents go over every essay I ever wrote, and had to edit non-stop. I am quite familiar with the process. Or at least I thought I was. But man, I forgot that the one major difference (and this applies specifically to me, I know it is not across the board), is that I never cared what changes were suggested for my essays. I just wanted to get them over with. But my book, my lovely little book, well I care. I care deeply. And so every time I come across a note or edit in my manuscript from my darling editor, my chest contracts and I have to sit there and make a very difficult decision. Am I being precious? Is she right, should this just go? Or am I going to put my foot down, and not do what she is suggesting? The latter decision of course results in guilt and fear that, I, being extremely new to this business, am making a terrible mistake. So every couple of minutes I am faced with this dilemma. It's draining. Very very draining.
Most of the edits I've done, though painful at the time, have been easily forgotten about since. But I do have some regrets as well. And now as I approach the finish line of my editing, I am worried I should go back and change certain things again. So yet another decision to make.
And the conclusion of all this is. . .
Being a writer is stressful. This may seem like an obvious discovery, but it is a new one for me. I want to just relax, but I know even after this edit is done, that probably won't be the end of it. Not only that, but when I think of the finish line (Fall 2007 sometime), I also realize that by the time it rolls around I will have written another book (due in June to my editor), and probably be in the thick of editing that one at the time.
I know, I know, there are worse jobs, and worse problems. And worse decisions. I'm really okay with it, really. Just wanted to point out that even though it seems like a pretty sweet deal, sitting at home, creating your own work schedule, it's still kinda tough. Perhaps you already knew this, but man, major surprise here for me!