Dear reader, how can an announcement be both of monumental proportions and hardly qualify as more than a drop in the bucket? Tonight I finished the 3rd revision of my novel. It's like crossing a line that seemed impossible to reach and yet now it's done, there's still miles and miles to go. But I reached it! I'm here! And regardless of what happens, this seems like a significant achievement. I feel confident my story can hold up under greater scrutiny, that it stands its ground and flows.
That's not to say I think my story is great. I'm honestly not sure on that level. But it flows.
I'm curious to know how others find the writing process. Ironically, and perhaps because it's late, I find myself lacking the words to describe it. In simple terms...it's hard. People talk about the pleasure of revision and even I myself assumed I'd love it, since I dearly enjoy revising this blog. But please allow me to assure you: there's a WORLD of difference between editing 650 and 65,000 of the most stubborn, elusive, gorgeous, mundane, incorrigible, exasperating words!
Words, dear reader! Oh, WORDS. I want to pet them. I want to caress them. I want to wring their little necks. They're adorable one moment and so odious the next. They line up in the most banal of formations to spite me, staring me down with brazen contempt. I stare back with my most hardcore Canadian face and they burst out laughing, then run circles around me like a stampede of preschoolers hopped up on too much sugar.
One of the unexpected discoveries I've made in this process is that the first few revisions to a story are less like the thrill of adding sparkly ornaments to a tree and more like the horror of contemplating a hideous lump of clay and wondering if it can be salvaged. Initial revisions only reveal to the writer how problematic her story actually is, how much help it really needs. It's been incredibly daunting at times, leaving me to wonder if I alone happened to write the world's sloppiest first draft (all the while thinking it was quite the gem!), or if other writers can relate to this predicament.
Who knows, dear reader? It's late, the house is quiet, and I don't have a pack of writer friends to ask questions about lumps of clay that would get me kicked out of their group in the first place.