I have oodles of books to finish up and publish. About 28 more to go. The problem is that there’s a very big difference between creating a new story and polishing one that’s finished. Maybe not for everyone, but it is for me.
When creating, it feels like I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and found myself in a wonderland. I get to learn the nuances of this universe, to meet new characters, and to delve into their complicated situations. I have the power of a god – to alter the fate of humanity, fix up a relationship, or whatever else the plot needs. It’s thrilling, addictive, and immersive.
Editing does not give me that high. Editing is the logic and rationalization behind the art. It’s all about judging whether or not that compound sentence needs a comma, or if I can string those words together in a better way. The goal of editing is to be sure that each and ever sentence makes the reader FEEL something. The goal of writing is the experience the journey.
And so, I get very sick of editing. I can think like that. I am smart enough, dedicated enough, and proud enough to want my work to be published in the best state possible. But my passion lies with creating. I am an artist. Maybe I use words to paint the scene instead of acrylics or clay, but it’s still the creativity that my mind demands. Throwing myself into endless hours of watching for commas, periods, straight quotes, and word repetition is like data entry. It’s dull. It’s boring. It makes me die a little inside.
My solution is to balance this with a new book. Eight hours of editing gets me a day of writing. Sadly, it’s easier to WRITE a book than it is to polish it. For every novel I edit, I could probably write two. That is if I didn’t have the dreaded day job. Now that thing steals away the hours. So, for now, I’m trying to balance the creativity with the productivity. I’m hoping that I can keep making the books my readers are asking for while finishing the ones I already have out.
Yet I still feel guilty for writing something new. I keep thinking that my readers are waiting. People are asking for When We Were Crowned, Two of a Kind, the third book in the iliri series, the prequel to the Eternal Combat series. They don’t even know about my elementals, the monochromatic world, the hacktivist romances, or the second chance stories. I do, and I love them. I want to lose myself in those worlds, to finish the last few words before that book is added to the long line of works waiting to see the light of day. I want so bad to write…
But I should be editing. I should be finishing the series that are out instead of starting another. I should be editing not creating. This is what the responsible half of my brain says, and it’s smothering the other side that is dying to keep going, to keep this crazy pace of pumping out books. If I could just learn how to tell my mind that it’s all ok, that I’m releasing books faster than most people, and that I deserve the time to do what I love….
Well, that’s what we all want, isn’t it?
So, I’m going to write. I’m not going to edit another word today. I’m just going to let my imagination run wild for a bit and enjoy the way it feels. Tomorrow I can worry about being responsible and editing again.