It’s hard out there for a self-editor…

So. I’m just going to summarize that editing your own work sucks.

The end!

No, sadly, that is not the end, because I still have… hmm… a little more than half of this book to go. On the bright side, I did not realize that I had made it this far. On the down side, I am more familiar with the first part of the book and even still have taken months longer to get through it than I thought I should.

On one level, I need to cut myself some slack. This is the first time I have done any extensive editing, and it’s a major undertaking anyway. I am progressing again (after a sabbatical that I did not actively choose but did little to resist). But progress is so slow.

I’m at the point, finally, in the new apartment where I have basically complete control over my schedule. No one expects much extraneous effort from me. Heck, no one even expects me to give them any of my time at this moment, because I am entirely relegated to this apartment. That helps and hurts at the same time.

The freedom to dictate your own time is a double edged sword, as I am sure has been said by plenty before me, but it’s no less true for its repetition. I have to decide to do the work that I want to do. No one stands over my shoulder and tells me which keys to press. Liberating, sure, but it sure is easy to be productive when someone else tells you how that productivity should look.

Creative work is fickle, too. Now, I’m not going to extol the vitriolic virtues of the Muse, because Serious Writer ain’t got time for Musing. Even so, some days, it’s on, and some days, it’s not. The trick is to figure out how to find the most ‘on’ times that are possible. Everything that I have read about this subject (which, I confess, may be severely limited) suggests that repetition is the key. Keep doing the same thing at the same time and eventually your brain will get on board.

So, the resulting theory is that I need to get into a schedule to wrangle the fickle writing brain into some semblance of functionality.

One major blockade standing in the way of accomplishing this is my battle with the sleep schedule. It is extraordinarily difficult to schedule around insomnia. For a while, early on in this writing thing, I tried just planning to stay up late to do the writing. It worked okay, but I always felt like I was dragging myself through it (as opposed to only SOMEtimes feeling that way on a more traditional schedule). Plus, it got in the way of family time. For some reason, Heidi likes spending time with me, and my alternate schedule somehow got in the way of that.

So, yes, the struggle carries on, and until I get a handle on this sleep issue, it shall remain an uphill battle.

Since this post has thus far been a bit of a downer, let’s talk upsides! Here’s what has been going pretty well lately:

    In my persistent quest to wrangle some more creative time out of my day, I have pursued the goal of learning to dream lucidly for half my life. Unfortunately, this sort of thing requires discipline, especially for those who do not have a natural predisposition toward it. The bright side here is that I am getting better at recording short synopses of my dreams, which is helping me remember more of them. As long as I don’t expect too much too fast, I might succeed.

    Heidi helped me narrow down a list of several stories from the last year and a half.I plan to submit a couple of stories to a fiction magazine, so once I’ve chosen, the editing will begin.

    Though we went through a bit of a financial crunch (and, to be honest, we still are there), things don’t look quite so dire.

Well, I realize that this undersells the positive aspect of the post, but sometimes I just need to remind myself that there are some pretty okay things going on.

Until next time, noble reader. (Or, you know, whoever you are.)

2 thoughts on “It’s hard out there for a self-editor…

  1. My lucid dreams usually end up with me dying horribly. I still do because one time, I dreamd I climbed ti the top of the Rice Bell Tower at Taylor University, jumped off, and completely missed the ground.

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