” Write drunk, edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway
When I found this quote I thought it was brilliant but also backwards. I didn’t need to be drunk writing my first draft, but editing it? I could have used a bottle of wine with that package of highlighters. Now that I am halfway through I added ibuprofen, antacids, and valium to that list.
I shake my head and curse myself when I come across a typo. How did I not see the word ‘the’ was repeated twice? How did I not notice that a few words were misspelled? I have spellcheck for Christ’s sakes!
My favorite part has to be though when you read something, and then edit it, only to realize the first time you wrote it sounds so much better.
There is one emotion though that I did not expect. Anxiety. I found myself experiencing several little panic attacks the first few days. It was so curious and strange. I just went through Hell editing my second draft, why am I feeling this way about my final draft? I breezed through the first, which is infinitely harder, with excited exhaustion. Even my second draft, which I dubbed ” The nightmare that would never end”, I still felt great joy while I slaved away.
What was going on?
No matter how many breathing exercises I went through I still couldn’t seem to catch my breath. After two days of this I decided a little journey into my mind was in order ( I will admit, I stopped myself from performing the WebMD symptom checker, a fact which I am sure my Doctor is very happy about) After several trips down bumpy brain dirt roads I finally realized something. I was terrified.
I thought about the times when I paint and I show someone my latest piece of artwork. Whenever I get an ” Oh.” I laugh. Gotcha Bitch. You don’t get it and guess what? That’s cool with me because I get it so that’s all that matters. When I throw a dinner party or even a BBQ and one dish, which I love, is hardly touched? Well I guess certain people’s palate’s aren’t as advanced as mine.
That’s what I tell myself anyway. I try to put up this front that it doesn’t bother me but it does. The small thump you heard was my heart breaking a little bit. You see, all these things, are tied together. When you put so much of yourself into something and it gets rejected, it stings.
This book though was more than just a reflection of me. This book is my thoughts. It’s my story. A story that I dreamed up for two years. Instead of painting or cooking, my feelings, are now what I am laying out there. These are my words for the whole world to read. This book is so much more to me than just some story I wrote. This book, at it’s core, is about me. What would I do? What would I say? What are people going to think when they read this? If they hate it, will that mean they are rejecting me in some way?
Here’s the results of my little self help therapy session. No matter what you do, not everyone is going to like or support it, you can’t please every single person. You can’t go back in time and change how you did things. Deal with it and move forward. Lastly, I wrote an awesome book. I love it. It’s everything I want in a story and if 99% of people hate it, then so be it.
All it takes is one person to love your book and that’s you.
So I am going to continue on and finish. When I hit the publish button I know there will be some residual anxiety but I think I now have something else. Pride.
Now where the f*ck is my valium?
* Sorry had to throw in a f-bomb just for Mother. I’m sure her tears after reading this have now been replaced with the shaking of her head and rolling of her eyes.*