Writing is a blast.
Creating worlds, characters, crisis, story, dialogue--it's what I live for. I love getting in people's minds, connecting with them, filtering myself through what they would do or how they would act. It's all good fun until it's time to revise. The revision process is brutal--a self-loathing dance that waffles between "I wrote that? Awesome!" and "oh my god, I wrote this..."
For me, editing is the hardest thing to be motivated to do. Revisiting my story the first few times is just as exciting as writing it, because it's a lot of additions. Add another battle scene here, dialogue there, and it's like I'm writing all over again. Once I hit later revisions, I begin to struggle. My brain starts playing tricks on me, convincing me to skip over sections where 'I already know what happens' and find other things more interesting, like starting a new book altogether. I know I've only published one book, but it feels like the editing never ends.
I understand now why they say "books aren't written, they're rewritten," (Michael Crichton) and "Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned," (Oscar Wilde). It's never going to be perfect.
This is the hardest thing for me to accept. I can't re-read my book and not see something I want to fix. A word change here, a sentence there, there's always something I'm compelled to fix. I know this process helps us grow as writers. There does come a point where good enough meets almost perfect. I think I've reached that point. I'm doing one last look over before I format for print. It's my fourth or fifth "last edit, I promise," as my boyfriend rolls his eyes at me at the thought of me doing another revision. There is a silver lining though. Every revision gives me more confidence and happiness. Yes, it takes forever. Yes it makes me want to gauge my eyes out to re-read that scene one more time, but I feel good once the work is done.
So revise, be merry, and love interacting with your work until you can't look at it another second. Eventually you will never look back, and you can just be proud. It makes me wonder how I'll feel in 10 years. Will I look back fondly, and see how far I've grown while happy with the result? Or will I look back with disgust wondering how I ever thought this first attempt was a book.
I really hope it's the former. Everything in my heart tells me it will be. After all, I'm incredibly proud with the passion and work I've put into this. I took a fragmented idea and made it a whole story that's bigger and more complex than I ever hoped for.
But I guess time will tell. Happy last-edit-I-promise! Print books to come soon!