Nan-oh NO she didn’t!

I’ve been reading all these posts on NaNoWriMo lately and feeling very jealous. I find myself waxing nostalgic on the joys of writing that first draft. There’s really nothing like it. It’s raw creativity mode. Anything goes. Just go with your ideas and let them soar.

It occurred to me that it’s been seven (almost eight?) months since I’ve been actually producing new material. That’s seven months of all editing, only editing, all the time. I must admit, I grow weary of it. I think one of the things that makes it so tough is the lack of positive feedback. That first time through is all about “Go! go! go! This rocks! Keep going!” From yourself. From your Alpha readers.

Editing is the opposite. And it’s hard to stay in that “this sucks, gotta fix it, now wait . . . now fix again, because this still sucks, now wait . . . now fix again” mode for so long.

So what are some ways you beat the editing fatigue? Or are you all happily frolicking in NaNo land and don’t know what I’m talking about? *sighs* That’s what I thought.



  1. sraasch on November 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I’m actually looking forward to doing some edits — I’ve been in a weird limbo-land for awhile, stuck between projects. The NaNo writing’s been fun, but I’m excited to dive into editing.

    So at least you won’t be alone in the editing world 😉

  2. Natalie Whipple on November 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve felt the same way often. I don’t think it hurts to write creatively while you edit. Heck, I wrote Hammered and Transparent while editing Ninjas.

    I say go for it. Try something new. Just don’t give up on the other project:)

  3. Becca on November 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I’d like to quote that delightfully bright girl from the Orem College 8th ward who so appropriately stated one day: “Its like Jesus said…I never said it would easy, I only said it would be worth it…”

    Oh people!!
    Hahaha 😉 😉 😉

    I know that was kinda irrelevant…but anything”for the laugh” right 🙂

  4. Candice on November 4, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I’m editing. You know the book I just finished. I got two beta edits back and it made me realize that it needs another major edit. But on a happier note, I’m am participating in NaHoCleMo (National House Cleaning Month) My showing is pretty pathetic so far, but I am making progress on my messy house.

  5. Kasie West on November 4, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Yeah, I’m like Natalie, I like to write while I edit. They use two totally different brains for me. Although, I recently wrote my first, first person book and let me tell you, writing in third and editing a first is not necessarily a smart thing to do. I’ve found many places where I read back that I’ve slipped into first person on my WIP. It’s bad.

  6. Natalie Whipple on November 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Kasie, gotta agree with you there. Or when your WIP is in present and your editing book is in past?

    Yeah…wires get crossed.

  7. Corinne Bowen on November 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I’m also in the editing stage and I’m going to print out two or three manuscripts for readers this weekend (at least that’s my goal). I feel like the boy who cried wolf sometimes. I feel like I wrote a second book during the first round of revisions because the plot changed so much! Some of my novel is in its fifth round of revisions while other parts are being written for the first time! I am looking forward to reading it from start to finish. I’ve been editing chunks and jumping around so much that I think this will be an eye-opening exercise.

  8. Tara on November 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I love having an alpha reader who can encourage me. She’s there when the beta readers say fix it. Sometimes we need to have the reminder of how our encouragers felt when they read our work. It makes it easier to swallow the edits.

  9. Renee Collins on November 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Sara-Editing is fun, for sure. It does get a little old after seven months, but it’s always exciting at first. For me, anyway.

    Natalie-I seriously might! Pick up old Shiny from a few months ago. Hmm . . .

    Becca-Thank you, Jesus! lol

    Seriously though, that is one of my favorite scriptures. ( 😉 )

    Candice-Dude, I’m impressed with you NaHoCleMo ladies. I’m sure my hubby would love it if I participated.

    Kasie-lol, I can see that, for sure. 😀

    Corinne-Yes, I’ve felt that way too! For sure. It’s a nice experience to read the whole book, with all of the changes together. Definitely eye-opening, like you said.

    Tara-I need one of those again! My sister was amazing when she read my first draft. It kept my spirits high, for sure.

  10. Hayley on November 4, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Editing is always tiresome, lots of energy, and chocolate, required to make it through. And I’m actually, for one of the first times, looking forward to editing. Once NaNo is over you won’t be alone in the editing world. Eventually you’ll be able to open up a new manuscript again.

  11. Miriam S.Forster on November 5, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Well I’m not exactly frolicking, if it makes you feel better. There is a lot of coolness about a first draft, but it’s not my favorite part. I want to get it done fast so I can polish and rewrite and move stuff around.

    And positive feedback is nice, but I know a lot of the stuff I’m writing is redundant, cliched awfulness. And I make myself write it anyway. Sigh…

  12. Kiersten White on November 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Do something fun–write something new. Come back to this book in a couple months. That’s what I did with Paranormalcy and it made a WORLD of difference!

  13. Natalie on November 5, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I’ve been frolicking in NaNo land and let me just say it hasn’t been all peaches and cream. I’m longing for the days when I already had a first draft done–making something good better, instead of trying to make nothing into something.

  14. Renee Collins on November 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Hayley-That’s true, December I’ll have plenty of company. We can all commiserate together.

    Miriam-Very good points. I guess I’m experiencing a bit of the old “grass is always greener” syndrome. 🙂

    Kiersten-Yes, I think I might. Maybe just a short story. We’ll see.

    Natalie-Yeah, I guess when you think about it, that’s my favorite stage too. First draft done, happily plunging into edits.

  15. Jessie Oliveros on November 6, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Ha! I like your post title. How much more editing do you think you need to do before you query? I am starting a rewrite, so I don’t know if that counts. Somewhere in between rough draft and edits? Anyway, I know where to come when I have questions (or grief) about editing.

  16. Renee Collins on November 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Jessie- Queries take a LOT of work. I started working on mine soon after finishing the first draft. And I’m still working on it. So yeah, it certainly couldn’t hurt to start now and give it plenty of time to get just right.

    Good luck! I’d be happy to take a look at your query when you have one. (Not that I’m an expert by any means.)

  17. Patti on November 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I can totally relate and as I have been in edit land for way too long. Just when I see a light at the end of the tunnel, a road block gets put in my way forcing me to rethink again.

    It’s a never ending spinny ride.