It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.
I am assuming that anyone checking out this post today is already well-versed with the IWSG, but in the event that it's new to you, and you'd like to know more, please click on the above link for more information, as well as a complete list of participants.
This month's co-hosts are C. Lee Mackenzie, Rachel Pattinson, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata.
This month's question asks, "How do you find time to write in your busy day?"
But I'm taking a pass on the question this month because I am decidedly un-busy. I'm fortunate enough to have no job outside of writing. My only children are two (admittedly) high-maintenance dogs and one attention-hungry cat, but it's not like I have four kids who need to be at four different events in four different corners of town every afternoon. My family and friends are 2000 miles away. I eat, sleep, and breathe writing. And as an insomniac, most of the time, I don't even sleep. I'm not busy.
So, instead, I shall talk about the myth of Sisyphus.
The super, incredibly pared-down version of the story is that this guy, Sisyphus, managed to irritate the ever-living daylights out of Zeus and was condemned to spend all of eternity rolling a stone to the top of a hill. Every time Sisyphus would get that stone to the top of that hill, the damn thing would roll back down, forcing him to start all over again. Over and over again. For all of eternity.
You're writers, so I'm sure you already can tell where I'm going with this, but...
I am Sisyphus, and my current WIP is the stone.
The hill is editing.
Every time I think I've figured the story out, ironed out the wrinkles, put commas in remotely correct places (or at least near them...), or whatever else, it's only a matter of time until I find out otherwise. I find more things with which I am unhappy.
The stone rolls back down the hill, and I have to start all over again.
This latest edit has been particularly brutal. I've taken to calling it the Slash-And-Burn Edit because I'm slashing huge chunks of story (in theory to be replaced by better-written chunks of story), and talking myself out of burning the rest.
Seriously, it's like I have forgotten how to properly construct a sentence. I don't know—maybe I've never known how to do that, but I at least thought I did. (And delusions are half the battle, right?)
I don't think that anymore.
I don't know what it is about this story. I don't know why I thought it was okay in May when I sent it to the beta readers, only to end up hating so much of it now. But I do. I really, really do. And I don't know how the one beta who actually made it through the story found anything good to say about it. (But, bless him, he did.)
(UPDATE: Just heard from Beta #2. She also had good things to say about it. She doesn't seem to think it's a molten mess of terrible wordsmithing. What is happening here?)
I don't know how to change that. There's many a day these days when I worry that I'm not smart enough to write this novel I set out to write. That the idea was too ambitious for me to actually pull off. And the only way I know how to change that is to actually pull it off.
So the bottom line is, I have to figure out how to fix this story. I hate that it's taking this long, and that I'm so far behind the goals I set at the start of the year. I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to get it right, that I'm still pushing this stupid rock up this stupid hill.
But if it takes twenty more rewrites to get it right, then I'll do twenty more rewrites.
I really hope it doesn't take twenty more rewrites, though. I desperately want to get to the top of that hill once and for all.
I hear the view is pretty great...
Better get movin'.
Ever find yourself trapped in a vicious editing loop? How did you break free?
Thanks for listening to me moan and groan today, y'all. I'll try to be cheerier the next time!