We are three days into our summer break from home schooling. I have encouraged the children to come up with some summer goals. I am encouraging (read- requiring) them to enter at least one contest this summer. I have heard about three so far- one is a writing contest for the local library, which I, myself, am planning to enter as well, the other two are home school contests- a photography one and another writing one. Here are some links if you are interested… one, two, and three.
My own summer goals include, first and foremost, editing the novel I wrote back in November during NaNoWriMo 2012. My 53,000+ word effort has been sitting untouched in my “my documents” folder for months and months. This summer, I have no excuses- no schooling to keep up with, no more trips planned, no outside distractions pulling me away from my computer. This is the time to tackle that monumental project that has been quietly calling me for months and making me feel overwhelmed and guilty all at once.
The problem with editing is that it requires a bit of distance-- an ability to be detached and unemotional and willing to cut. I struggle with that. I read my words, the words I so painstakingly chose and sculpted into a story (albeit a really rough slipshod one at this point) but I feel so attached to them. Even the parts of my story that really aren’t working, I feel a strange sort of connection with.
I scrutinize many of the sentences that I made and the paragraphs that I formed and even though they add nothing to the plot, I hate to cut them loose so cruelly. I look at the story as a whole and it needs so much work and so much revision, but I look at each little sentence by itself and I sort of like what I see. I just can’t seem to bring myself to reject those superfluous, gratuitous sentences and paragraphs, even though I know they really must go. They are like an old acquaintance- I met them, I sort of liked them, and though I have not really spent any quality time with them, I feel like they might still have the chance to find a place in my
I have a few other goals I’d like to accomplish but this one- this mountain of editing and revising that I must climb- will likely take up my every waking moment for the next 2 ½ months. I will have to really work to let go of the bad parts of my story and really work to find something so much better to take their places or my 2nd novel will be doomed to failure- forever remaining in the “my documents” folder unloved and unread. It’s going to take a lot of tough love (and hopefully the gentle encouragement of an unemotional, outside source) but I WILL accomplish this- even if I accomplish absolutely nothing else…..
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/5206092531/">kevin dooley</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>