4 Ways to Stay in Love with Your Book While Editing18:54
|Original Image by Serena|
So you’re preparing to edit your book. It’s probably been a while since you last set eyes on it. Time has taken the rough edges off your memory of the book. Everything looks bright and positive. The book was actually pretty solid when you left it last time. A quick read through and you’ll know exactly what to do to fix the few problems lurking in dark corners. It’s going to be the most epic book in the history of publishing. It might even beat Harry Potter for popularity.
Then you start reading.
All of those bright dreams are shattered in an instant. Who wrote this pile of rubbish? This is not the book you were imagining in all its perfection. This is so bad it hurts to look at it. Suddenly editing this book doesn’t seem like so much fun after all. It’s going to take ever so much work to make it right. Is it even worth it? Suddenly this isn’t your most favourite book after all. That one about the mutant three legged goat was so much better surely.
Fear not. Most books are pretty rough around the edges when you first start editing. It’s very easy to fall out of love with your book, no matter how great the concept is. But there are several ways to ease the pain of editing and stay in love with your book throughout the process. Here are my top four.
Give your book permission to be bad. This is a piece of advice often suggested for first drafts, but I think it’s equally important to remember this when you’re editing. After all, it’s the same terrible book you allowed yourself to write before. So let it be a heap of rubbish. You can totally fix it all in time.
Make a list of things you love. It’s important to remember exactly what you loved about the book when you’re wading through its terribleness. Make a list of the things that you love about your story. Maybe it’s one of the characters. It could be the setting, one of the scenes in particular, or a relationship. Whatever it is, write it down. Then, when you’re feeling down about your book, you can remind yourself of just what makes this book worth fixing.
Find someone to root for your book. One of my sisters is very good at cheering me up about my books, even when she doesn’t know anything about it. Find someone to be enthusiastic about your book, preferably someone who doesn’t mind listening to you moan about your story regularly. Just having someone to vent to and to remind you of all the good things you’ve said about your book can be a big relief.
Make a physical reminder of your book’s awesomeness. Find pictures that remind you of your book’s setting or characters. Or draw your own pictures. Make a playlist of songs that remind you of your story. Whatever it is that reminds you of your book and characters, gather those up and use them to remind yourself of how cool your book really is.
These are my top ways to stay in love with my book while editing. How do you combat the editing blues? I'd love to hear your thoughts!