Today, I began work on this again.
This is what feels like revision #984982 of a book that has given me fits for years. I did a big revision on it last spring/fall, and then got more feedback on it from writing groups/very smart professionals. And then I started trying to work on it again several months ago.
Trying to fix the thing was like torture. It made me hate writing.
So I prioritized in front of it every possible project that I had to revise. Anything to keep from having to touch the thing again. But it just sat there on my desk. Looming.
And then. Last week. I was in the best place in the world for thinking about things, but not the place that I expect to think about a manuscript that is filled with violence and sex and horror and abuse.
But then I knew. Not how to fix it–something else, which turned out to be more important.
I knew that I could do it. I could fix this book. I could make it be what I wanted it to be. Not next year when I’m a better writer. Not in six months when I’ve gotten some distance. Now. I could do it now.
I went home, and started talking about it with my favorite sounding board. (I don’t talk about my books, except with Drew. Everyone else gets the pitch only. Drew gets to listen to the hours and hours of “what if I did this?” He’s the most helpful ever.)
And then I figured out what was wrong with the book. I figured out why writing it felt like torture. I figured out what it needed.
I started on it again today, and the work doesn’t feel like torture. This draft isn’t going to be perfect. There will be more revisions, I’m sure. There always are.
But I know I can fix it.
And that makes all the difference.