Last week I wrote about how writing is the beginning of the work. This week I lived it out.
I got back a novel I’d written from an editor. The novel isn’t short; the thing was about 600 pages long. The editor left on average three notes a page. Some of the notes regarded typos. Some asked deeper questions that required more thought. Some rewrote entire sections for clarity or punchiness.
As you might guess, that’s a lot of notes to look through.
This last week, my family went to go visit grandma, leaving me behind. I had almost an entire week where I didn’t have the kids distracting me. I still had work to complete every day for my day job, but it meant my evenings were free.
My wife takes the kids away a couple times a year to visit her mom, usually leaving me behind to tackle one or another project. Usually it’s straight-out writing; it’s the creation of the story. This time around, though, I aimed to go through the entire novel I’d just gotten back. All 600 pages. Every note.
And yes, it was work.
I sat for a good six hours a night after finishing my day job. I read through comments. I evaluated. Many of the comments I implemented. Some I ignored. Each one took at least a moment of thought, and some took more. A few of the days, it was closer to ten hours each.
Every night as I finished, I thought I could feel some more brain oozing out of my ear like melting jello. I pushed myself harder and harder to finish while everyone was gone.
It meant I didn’t get to watch as much Star Trek as I usually do when the family is gone. I usually watch at least a couple episodes a night. Not this time! I didn’t finish reading any novels. It meant I didn’t relax nearly as much. I didn’t just work; I gave up on pampering myself.
And in the end… I did it. I finished the novel. A full-on pretty deep edit, complete. And at the moment at least, I’m not comatose! Miracles happen!
But, again, there was a price. It meant I wasn’t relaxing. It meant that I still haven’t watched those shows and movies that have been recommended to me time and again. It means I wasn’t out with friends. The books still sit unread.
Personally, I think the price is worth it.
The reason I share this: When I say writing is work, I mean it. I live it!
And now, the novel is out with some beta readers. We’ll see what they say. I’ve already gotten back some good feedback, and I’m looking forward to more.
And in the meantime… well, actually, I’ve been reading now. I haven’t written or edited anything since I finished the novel. A little break, I guess, but I’ll be picking at the keyboard again very soon!
So… go get some work done. Go write!