For months I have been dying to be finished with my first draft. “Y’all are so lucky,” I said to my crit partners. “I would give anything to be editing right now.”

Oh, Kristan. Be careful what you wish for.

My original plan was to take a day off — yes, ONE DAY — and then dive right into edits. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Let’s just say that when you spend over a year drafting a book, you’ll probably need more than 24 hours to rest, let it sink in, figure out what and how to edit, and oh yeah, catch up on all the non-writing stuff you neglected in order to claw your way to “The End.”

So I ended up taking the entire month of February off. By “off” I mean that I did extra research, and some brainstorming and game planning, and a lot of thinking deeply about my characters and their story and the larger series I’d like it to be a part of. “Thinking deeply” probably sounds like hooey to most non-writers, but the truth is, it’s one of the most valuable and motivating parts of the process, at least for me. And now I’ve got a month’s worth of that inspiration and energy stored up inside me, ready to burst, ready to be channeled into the edits.

But there’s one more hurdle I wasn’t expecting.

The last step of preparation that I wanted to take was to read over my entire manuscript on my Kindle. No fixing typos, no deleting or rewriting. Just me experiencing the story as a reader, to see where it really stands and to wrap my mind around it as a whole.

But holy crap it’s weird!

So weird to read when I know what’s coming. And not just what happens, but the exact words that will be used to describe it. So weird that I can’t even get through the first chapter. Not because it’s bad (although it might be) but because it’s just so… weird. So very very very very weird.

For some reason rereading Twenty-Somewhere didn’t throw me the same way. Maybe because it was written for the web originally, and I approach online writing with a different mindset. Or maybe because it’s been two and a half years now since I wrote that “The End.”

Regardless, I’ll have to find some way to push through the weird, and through the edits, so I can finally move on to the next step: querying. Man, all you writers who are querying are so lucky. I would give anything to be querying right now.

11 responses to “The grass is always greener”

  1. Mieke Zamora-Mackay Avatar

    I understand you perfectly, Kristan. I am going through the exact same thing right now. I, however, took three months off from the MS before starting the revision process. It feels rather daunting doesn’t it?

  2. Sonje Avatar

    I really and truly hate editing. You know this. But editing is like a candle flame next the forest fire of my hatred for querying. I’ll take writing over either of those things any day of the week. The one place we seem to agree is that the “deeply thinking” part is the best of all. :)

  3. T. S. Bazelli Avatar

    Don’t envy the querying! I wish I was back in the work. The grass is always greener indeed.

    I found I needed more than a month to forget the novel before I could really find what was wrong with it. I learned the lesson that lesson the hard way… I thought I’d given it enough time to sit, but sent out the book to betas with way too many typos. My mind had filled in the blanks and I didn’t see them until I’d set it aside for longer (3 months to be precise). I wouldn’t rush to get back into it. Work on something else for a while maybe? It still seems too soon if you still know what’s next.

  4. Shari Avatar

    Oh, oh, oh, I will trade you! You can send out my queries and I’ll happily do your edits. Deal? Please? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? ;-)

    Drafting is always my favorite part, so I can’t necessarily say that the grass always seems greener, but I totally get where you’re coming from in wanting to be at the next step. Sometimes just having that forward motion can be so inspiring, right?

  5. Elissa J. Hoole Avatar

    reading my own books always makes me fall asleep. true story. I usually love and long for whatever stage of the writing process I am not able to do at the moment. but…I kind of always hate plotting. :)

  6. Jon Avatar

    Well, be happy that the first draft is done. That is always the hardest hurdle, right? Congrats again.

  7. Juliann Avatar

    That’s so interesting. I just hope it’s weird in a good way. I am one of those writers who hate editing, but love querying, so I don’t envy you this step in the process.
    Good luck!

  8. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    I’d be interested in the difference in your mindset for online writing, since everything I do is for online (and then sometimes for print later).

    One thing I like about writing for online, at least the way I do it, is that I’m always going back and forth between writing and editing.

    Oh, and I agree with Theresa. I think it’s better to take more time off. Joyce Carol Oates said she always takes a year (and she’s written a ton of books, so obviously it hasn’t slowed her down).

  9. Kristan Avatar

    Yes. It’s like you need the time away, but the more time you have to think about it, the bigger and scarier it gets.


    T.S. and Anthony-
    3 months? A year?! *dies*

    If only we could.

    That makes me feel so much better!

    Tru dat. Thanks again!

    I think you’re the only person I’ve ever heard of who loved querying… :P

  10. Julia Avatar

    I won’t pretend to know what querying is, however, in terms of editing, a trick I’ve learned for when time is short – change the font and read it that way. Typos you didn’t see before will sometimes jump out.

  11. Kristan Avatar

    Querying is the process of sending letters out to literary agents to see if they will represent your manuscript.

    Thanks for the tip!