Tuesday, 1 June 2010

There is Time to Run & There is Time to Walk

My editing journey has been quite interesting so far. I have felt every imaginable emotion for it, and I have also gone through finding it easy, hard, and in-between.

One thing I have come to realise that to have the editing complete by a certain date is not going to work for me. At least not for this book - because this is the first book I am editing, hopefully to a state where it could be publishable. I am learning a lot, but sometimes it is also a chore. Sometimes, I go through chapter a day, and at other times one page a day is tough to handle.

Currently I am going through the tough period. I do not ignore it, and I always want to do something to it, but only a little bit. For last several days, perhaps a week even, I look at a page or even paragraph. In the beginning, I kept beating myself up for not meeting my targets, but now I am wondering if that little ease of pace, a little distance from the intensive focus might be a good idea, even a productive one. This story has evolved so much from its inception, and even now, I keep thinking of ways to make it better, so perhaps my brain needs a little time to assimilate before acting. I don't know. It just might be an excuse. But I don't think so, because I am not bored or sick of editing. I still want to complete this book. I still love it. I just want to be sure that I do my best on it, and not hurry the process to meet my deadlines. I will have enough deadlines when I do make it in the industry, for now, it is more important to make sure that I take time to be ready, to make sure I can deliver quality.

What do you think? Do you give yourself a break some time? Take it easy? Focus on the quality? Do you get frustrated when things don't finish on time? How do you handle it?


  1. I'm right there with you Dolly. I plan out days and weeks that I know I have nothing to do but write and revise. But when the time comes, if I'm not feeling it, then nothing gets done. Like you, though, I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to improve it. Time that might have passed with a deadline. In the end, your story will be better because of the time you spent on it. And deadlines we set now are false anyway. Until we have a deadline from a publisher, anything can happen.

  2. OMG Yes! I totally know what you are feeling. You are so not alone. There are days I just stare at the page. It sucks. I don't make firm deadlines, but I really should. Matt's right deadlines are our deadlines anyway, only you know you haven't made it ;o)

    Good luck to you. Basically we just have to truck through it, and focus on the good moments and hopefully they will get us through ;o)

  3. I try to give myself a break when I'm editing, but when it's not going well slowing down just makes me feel like a slacker.

    For me, writing to a deadline is like getting up in the morning. If there's a need to get up in morning (like getting to work on time) I have no problem. But if there isn't a valid reason, I have a hard time getting up and tend to lounge in bed. I can meet deadlines at work without a problem, but I have a hard time sticking to my own deadline.

  4. Matt,

    That is true that anything can happen until we have a deadline from a publisher, also I think when we have a deadline from publisher, it would be easier in a sense because there is someone approving or disapproving your work - so you don't have to worry a lot about whether or not it is perfect, because someone will tell you (to an extent).

    Sometimes I make firm deadlines for certain things, at other times they are more loose deadlines like "Work on Editing today" - but whether or not I am satisfied with the amount and quality of that work at the end of the day, that's the question.

    I find deadlines help when I am able to just move forward - for example, writing a first draft. It's about sailing through, and I can write, so a deadline keeps me focused. But for something like editing where at this stage it's more about knowing something needs to improve but not perhaps knowing how - that's bit tricky.

    External deadlines are certainly easier - though I can work on my deadlines within reasons. It depends on what I am doing, and how clear that goal is. If it's clear, no problem. If it's not clear, then things get bit iffy.

  5. Yes, I definitely need break time. I call that reading time. LOL!

  6. Self imposed deadline can be good. But sometimes we need to give our brain time to breathe and take the pressure off of it in order for it to work with us.

  7. LOL Jennifer ...yup love THAT time :-)

    Definitely true. I think sometimes we get bit carried away with self-imposed deadlines. Perhaps because they are self-imposed, there is more pressure not to miss it.

  8. I'm setting pretty vague deadlines for myself these days...I want to release my self-pub title in mid-to-late summer, and have my trad. pub draft rewritten by the end of September, but that's it. My only daily deadlines are to work on each every day, even if it's only 100 words or so. I'll admit, seeing the money relatively unknown independent authors are making on Amazon shifts my motivation more towards my self-pub title...that, and that particular draft is far better, needing only minor revisions and line edits.

    The rewrite is rather daunting...and I sometimes wonder why I'm bothering.


  9. Jamie,

    I know exactly where you are coming from. But I feel at this stage, we rather need to forget about full-time income, and focus on the craft, and look forward to being proud of being a published author.

    Or at least that's what I am doing. That is not to say that I would ignore the business side of writing, but the income for new author, especially for standard genre and category romance is so low that if we went for it from money point of view, we would never want to.

    I try to stick to every day editing as well - though admittedly this week that's slipped off, but improving a little by little, that's the key. Sometimes it's easy because I can see the improvements, at other times it is really daunting.

    But then if dreams were easy to fulfill, they wouldn't be life dreams :-) So let's trod on.