When I think of writing a 50,000+ word novel in only 30 days, I am actually not that worried. I know it will be hard. I know there will be times I will have no motivation to write. I also know I will push through and I will get it done through sheer willpower. I want to have a book that I wrote, and I am going to have a copy printed for my bookshelf. I am also going to have extra copies, so when friends and family visit I can send them off with a copy if they are interested. This is my motivation to persevere and finish, kind of like running a marathon is to some people.
My biggest fear… is editing.
I’m not planning on having a terrible self-written novel on my shelf. After all, there is a good chance I will save a copy for my future kids/grandkids. Even if it isn’t great, they will have something I made, which is something I would love to have my own family. The only way to increase the chances of the book being half decent is to do a knockout job editing.
So why I am afraid of the looming editing nightmare I’ll have ahead of me? From what I have read, proper editing will take you quite a while, about 4-6 pages an hour. Let’s do some rough math. A 50,000 page novel is about 200 pages. Averaging pages per hour to 5, we should spend around 40 hours doing nothing but editing. Now that by itself doesn’t sound TOO bad. But consider this:
- We just finished writing an average of at least 1,667 words per day for a month, and are tired.
- I for one know nothing about editing, and have a lot of learning to do during that time.
- There could be significant re-writes needed depending on what I find under the hood.
Considering these points, it isn’t as hard to see why I am a little worried. As of now, however, I have every intention of forcing myself through it. The difference is, unlike writing the novel, I am not looking forward to it.
I do have an emergency plan in place, however. I have considered hiring an editing service to do the heavy lifting for me. That way, I can send it off and maybe have something resembling a finished product when it gets back to me. I’m a little hesitant to do this because I’m afraid of losing the personal voice of the story and not recognizing it when I get it back. Of course I could then go back and do it myself, but I’ve wasted money and am probably getting impatient with the whole process.
So can I spend 40+ hours doing the editing myself and get a finished product I love? Of course. The question is, can I face my fear and be self-disciplined enough to see it through? That, dear Readers, is the question.