My editing is over. Now the proper rewrite of the end of Novel #1 is to begin in earnest. And it is hard.
Part of me doesn't want to do it. I can tell. Part of me keeps jumping up and down and pointing at another unfinished novel, insisting that polishing that to a sparkling shine would be easier. (To be honest, it probably would be.) This is in part because I'm having such difficulty just creating. Editing, now, that I can do... Now I have my hand in, I'm an editing god. But creating? Well....
I'm a good writer. I know this. Even my drafts are pretty well put-together. Sure, a few paragraphs need re-doing, and sometimes something needs to be rewritten to make sense, and bits and pieces need to be moved around. Overall, though? It reads well. And I'm a critical bitch. So on that score, I am happy.
But now I'm returning to a point of pure creativity, where I'm supposed to set aside the plans and the critical eye and the inner editor and just let the story flow. And it's really difficult re-programming myself to do that.
I remember a month or three ago complaining at how hard it was to edit when what I wanted to be doing was creating. Once I hit my stride, though, editing was a lot easier to do. Still exhausting, but I could get through five pages in an hour so long as I wasn't procrastinating.
Tonight I've written about 550 words. This surprised me. I didn't think I'd get anything done. I'd like to hit between 1000 and 2000 words a day. Hopefully that would mean finishing the novel within a month or two. I realise hitting that number might not always work, but I have to keep it there because if I don't have an aim, I won't get anything done. So I've written 550-ish words tonight. And MS Word is sitting there, open, ready for me to continue. Frustration welled up - and here I am.
Why so frustrated? I feel like i don't know where I want to go next. Now I have an eventual aim in mind, I just have to circle the novel back around to meet it. My character has two or three more works of art to meet, and I have to re-assess what I want those to be. All these ideas are almost blocking me. My character is lying there on the bed looking around herself with a lazy air - and that's good. Meanwhile I, the writer, am sitting here worrying over what has to be done and how I'm going to get there. I'm not sure what to do about that.
Obviously this is my problem, not the novel's problem. Once I can set those worries aside, I can breathe and let it flow. I also have to bring myself to put down/lock up the Inner Editor, as well, and leave a clumsy sentence as clumsy for the time being. I've put a marker into the text so I know what's been edited and what hasn't. This is very difficult for me, as I've always been a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to crafting an excellent sentence, and of late I've just been writing short stories, drabbles, bits and pieces. I've been paying great attention to the craft of those as I write them. Now I'm to stop that and just go hell for leather, I squirm. I don't waaaant to. But I must.
At least I now have the opportunity once more to say to myself "2000 words a day" and aim for that. Accomplishing a word goal is always a pleasing feeling. I will feel as if I have accomplished something - for a change.