I’m fast approaching the 60,000 word mark on my first draft of my first novel.
In some ways that sounds wonderful – yay me! I’m about to start on the third section, so I can almost see the end in sight now.
However, today I started to feel a little panicky. I wonder if any other newbie authors out there can relate? I’ve absolutely loved the first draft stage: putting it all together, forming the ideas into words and seeing the word count hike up week after week. It’s been very measurable: 500 words a day, 3,000 on my Writing Wednesday afternoon. Tick. Tick. Tick. Job done!
But now, I realise, I’m not too far away from the editing process, and that scares me rather a lot. When I read my whole book, will it make any sense? Will the story hold together? Will it seem too amateurish? Will I be any good?
I’m also worried about staying the course of the whole editing process. The thought of having to painstakingly move things around, delete some scenes and add in others, trace various storylines or character developments through the book over and over again makes me feel exhausted already! I’m not one for patience, and I know I’ll just want my book finished and out there in the world. On the other hand I’m also a perfectionist, so I’ll be terrified about what people will think unless I know that I did everything I humanly could in the editing process to make it the best book I possibly could make it given my current level of experience and expertise.
I’m also fast approaching the stage of needing to involve other people. I’ll need to find a good editor and a book cover designer. I’ll need a proof reader and beta readers. Suddenly my book won’t be my little, hidden, secret hobby anymore. Suddenly it will be real and out there and available for critique. People will start to make comments and judgements, and I know I’ll want them to be honest but I’m a little afraid of what they’ll say. OK, OK, rather a lot afraid of what they’ll say.
On the positive side, all this worrying about my book leaves little room for worrying about anything else, and I seem to be heading towards this busy Christmas season with an unnerving lack of concern this year. Maybe this writing life is good for me in more ways than I had anticipated.
Let me know in the comments if any of this resonates with you!