I am still in the process of editing my manuscript.
I thought writing was hard but boy I had no idea how tough I would find editing!
I find I am not finding the time to do edits perhaps because a part of me is dreading re-reading what I wrote.
So much of what I wrote now looks so disjointed and I can’t actually remember what I meant when I was trying to get some points across!
So I conveniently find myself doing anything BUT editing.
But the beauty in all of this chaos is that my manuscript can only get better when it is edited.
I am pretty ambitious and always setting goals and targets and I thought I could get my book edited in 10 days. But 20 days later and I am still only halfway through the 45,000 word manuscript.
But then I had to keep reminding myself that this is the first time I am going through this process and why do I need to keep rushing through the learnings? Why not take the time I need to lean and give the my book the time it deserves.
So I have backed off the pressure from myself and am reminding myself why I got into writing.
Why Do I Write?
- To enjoy the process of creation
- Writing brings me joy
- I want to carve a career as an Author Entrepreneur
- I want to create a body of work I am proud of
- I want to empower, inspire and educate my readers and show them how they can live creative and purposeful lives
- I want to create an income online from a diverse portfolio derived from writing
How to Manage Creative Burn-out
Another reason for why I know I am not spending enough time editing or perhaps not doing the work, is because I know I feel exhausted and tired.
Or in other words burnt-out.
I have been keeping a strict writing routine for the past 4 months which I have stuck to religiously. And although I am getting the words out, I feel I am losing my motivation and excitement towards writing.
So I am now managing burnout by taking breaks and trying to get to bed before 10.30pm. Otherwise I end up staying up on the laptop till past midnight and the glare of the screen light keeps me awake for a further 2 hours. This means I don’t fall asleep till past 2am and then I expect myself to wake up at 6am (which does NOT happen!!).
So here is what I am learning about the editing process:
- Accept the first drat is going to be a mess.
- Embrace the mess. Recognise where you were creatively when you wrote those words.
- If your manuscript makes you cringe this is a good sign! This means you are a better writer than you were when you wrote those words. Every time you sit to write, you are getting better and better as a writer.
- Editing requires a different skill set. You are now looking to see if your content is structured, does the narrative / story flow. Does one chapter lead to the next? Where can you make your point clearer using fewer words?
- When writing I find it easy to set goals. For example a successful writing session for me is to produce 2000 words per days. Bt when it comes to editing I struggle with how to determine if I had a successful editing day. So I am now using the Pomodoro technique and editing my manuscript in chunks of 25 mins followed by 5 mins break. I try to do 3-4 of these sessions per day.
- As you edit you get closer to your book. You can see the bigger picture and you start to understand what your potential reader will feel when they read your book. You are essentially now sitting on the other side of the table and it can be quite refreshing to see your words from this new perspective. This hopefully will make me a better writer.
- Distance yourself from your manuscript when you edit. Don’t be afraid to cut out chunks of your text if you don’t think its useful anymore.
What is your experience when you edit? How do you keep yourself motivated through the editing process?