I feel drained. The 80cm of snow we’ve received since last Wednesday (this is Sunday) have something to do with it. 50cm more are due tomorrow. That’s 52 inches of snow. That’s enough snow to bury children and animals, not to mention cars. I literally have nowhere to shovel this snow. We are talking about cancelling our car insurance for the next three months because we won’t be going anywhere in them.
Still, it doesn’t compare to the stress I’m feeling as I finish this edit of the novel I’m working on, my fifth major version in two and a third years. I know there are changes to make: too many ellipses, thinking verbs, rhetorical questions, voice transgressions, theme continuity issues, and story line consistencies. And these are only the headers of my shopping list. Yet the need for input from others outweighs these abstract objectives. At the end of this edit, as I reviewed my notes and made a few more changes, I felt myself sinking into Johnny Weissmuller quicksand.
I think a writer needs to edit from a good place. We cannot be fighting our visions. I feel my story is a piece of art. I feel my story can be an attractive read for millions. Seriously. But I am finding the doubts creeping in. Every page I read makes me question my sanity, my ability to write. I have made so many mistakes! Of course what I need is time away and some concrete feedback.
So I sit here typing this post as the first printed copy of my V5 manuscript prints. It is 126k words, which at font-10 and 1.5 line spacing equals 277 printed pages. I am printing double-sided this time. My previous manuscripts were just too thick. And I did not make the decision alone. I checked with my primary readers for their preferences, and they are fine with reduced note making space. The next steps are to distribute copies to 6 to 8 readers. One EPUB version is already out.
In a month or so, I’ll need to gather the herd. I’d like to take my readers somewhere for at least coffees. I’m thinking a Starbucks on a snowy Sunday morning. I might even rent a room at the library and bring in some pizza. If I host them at home, I could also serve beer. We’ll see. If I get a constant message that it sucks and there is zero hope anybody would want to read it, then they’ll be getting nothing 😉