The Finesse of Editing and the Desire to Quit

I’ve been really lucky in the critique partner arena the past year or so. Two wonderful writers have given me invaluable feedback. As I work on my novel’s second draft I’m being pushed to be the best writer I can. That means I’m tweaking aspects of scenes that I considered finished and digging deeper into the characters’ thoughts, actions and reactions. It’s exciting and downright scary.

Sometimes I think I’m not up to the task. Self-doubt creeps in and I think to myself, “What am I doing? I’ll never be good enough.” Then I dig into the edits, latch onto a thread and suddenly it’s clear. The feedback makes sense and I know what needs to be done. It’s hard though! Writing. Well. Is. Hard!

Image courtesy of Thomas Picard and stock.xchng.

Image courtesy of Thomas Picard and

I feel like a stranger in my own world. It’s taking longer than I expected to make this round of edits because I’m digging deeper than anticipated. It’s not like the first draft when I furiously worked to get the story in my head onto the page. Edits take a certain finesse. It’s like the tomb builders of ancient Egypt have dug out the tomb and now the artisans are painting the hieroglyphs.

It’s no wonder so many never finish their novels. After the first draft I was proud of my achievement and looked forward to the next step. Now that I’m there it’s more like a back-breaking job. There are times I want to quit. Something drives me forward. I’ll never be satisfied until I’ve put every ounce of my skill, emotion and thought into it. To not finish would be a betrayal to myself and those who have helped me.

So come on folks. I need some encouragement. Tell me to keep going even if my work never sees the light of day. Tell me you’ve felt the same way. Share your struggle with the written word. I’m listening.

  • Every writer feels this way at some point, Missy! Keep going. *chants* Keep going, keep going, keep going…

  • Every writer feels this way at some point, Missy! Keep going. *chants* Keep going, keep going, keep going…

  • Well since I’ve read part of it I may be biased but you need to keep going! It’s good. People will want to read it! You’re doing great. =)

    • Thanks, Elena! That means a lot. I’ll keep going. I think I’m just in a funk or maybe lazy. 🙂