I shouldn’t be writing this. I should be editing. I really, really should be editing but I’ve just drafted up an editing schedule (aka, another writing avoidance tactic), a timetable if you will, and the realisation of the enormity of the task in hand, exacerbated by how inversely proportionate the job is to the likely rewards, has made me want to crawl under my desk and never, ever come out ever again ever. Or at the very least go and get a regular job.
In other words, am feeling slightly panicked.
It’s all my own doing of course. I chose to set myself a deadline for this book. I’ve chosen to edit the manuscript to perfection, or as near as, before even thinking about submitting it again to the terrifying dragon’s den that is the world of the literary agent. I also chose to write the bloody thing in the first place.
I didn’t have to do any of it.
Except that’s not quite true. I did. Have to, that is. You see for me – and I’m definitely not the only one here – writing is a delicious and addictive paradox. A gut-wrenchingly torturous process that, in a heartbeat, can push every cell of self-belief and confidence to its absolute outer limit, yet one that can bring inner peace in such abundance that even Budda himself would be all like, whaaa? And one with the ability to make me feel more like myself than any other activity or person or thing ever could.
As if to prove its point, just writing these few lines has instilled in me a new sense of calm. It’s as if writing is intrinsically linked to the regulation of my parasympathetic nervous system, just as normal, everyday life is to the heightening of my anxiety synapses and adrenal glands. Not to put too fine a point on it, we need each other, me and writing.
So, back to the book it is.
I’ve given myself until 31 March to finish the edit. After that it’s the Easter holidays when I’ll have no chance. 35 days of editing. ‘Spose I’d better get out from under this desk…
Thank you so much for reading and sharing. If you have any comments or tips about writing or editing or life in general, please share them below.