With the hopes of becoming unstuck, this past weekend I spent an afternoon surrounded by the talented writer's of RWA-GVC (Romance Writer's of America Greater Vancouver Chapter) who shared their experiences and advice regarding these setbacks. The meeting included many useful and informative workshops, for me the most useful (given my current state of limbo) was that given by Kate Austin on the 'ABCs of Revisions'. I found comfort in knowing that I haven't completely embarked on an impossible journey. Just because my feet seem to be stuck in concrete at the moment, doesn't mean I am forever stopped in my tracks along this road to publication.
During Kate's workshop, I breathed a sigh of relief. Many writer's, even published ones, reach moments during editing that cause persuasive doubt.
I reached a moment like this, with editing Tumble Into Me. While working in the much needed transitions between my scenes, I have woven in way more words than are ever needed into this or any other contemporary romance. Knowing this caused further dread with regards to editing because it was suddenly appearing endless. I could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. Soon I felt like I was doing this for nothing; that no matter how much time I put toward editing, I would never reach the finish line, and that thought is what stopped my progress for taking even one more step towards it.
Now I am starting to envision that path again. It is much longer and windier than I have previously thought BUT now I think I know what I have to do to move forward. I need to start back at the beginning. Scene by scene, chapter by chapter, I need to remove most of what I have added during this editing pass. The story never needed more scenes, nor did it require more characters; it needs complete transitions in order for Tumble Into Me to flow properly for future readers. I'd do well to remember this!
I also have to remind myself to take time during editing to keep my muse inspired by continuing to write creatively and read for pleasure: both to keep the inspiration and motivation alive. So while I am about to retrace my steps, I am eager to restart from the beginning with these and the ABCs of revisions at hand. Wish me luck! :)