I have been editing my current book, “A Voice in the Silence,” for what seems like forever! It was written during my first NaNoWriMo a couple of years back, with the idea of putting everything I could think of into it. I completed the challenge but was left with a mess.
I pulled all my ideas together, even adding something that fixed what I thought was a long, boring ending. I don’t think I’ve ever been in the editing phase this long, nor had the high levels of anxiety I’ve felt with this book.
When starting something new, I normally jump right into something and feel confident about my direction. This isn’t one of those times.
So, I keep going over this story and still finding little things to fix. I’ve put off thinking about a cover or writing the blurb. And I continue editing hoping to get it to a point where I feel like I can share it with some amazing beta readers that I know will be honest if anything doesn’t work.
My incredible critique group has gone over the first half of it and helped tighten it up, fix the glaring errors, and offer encouragement.
Yet, the anxiety was still there.
I reflected on that and came up with some reasonable conclusions. The last two years of fear and hate in our societies have bled over into my safe writing world and stirred up emotions I thought I had left in my past. Then there is the perfection I’m striving for from myself with this story while taking a step out of my comfort zone. The mixture of these things has made me question myself.
What seemed second nature to me, I’m now second-guessing everything as I learn how to improve my writing skills. It reminds me of when I first learned to drive a car. All the things I had to think about at first became so normal later.
There were days I wondered why I was doing this to myself. Luckily I was born in the tiger year and that helped feed my stubborn side and kept me going. My turning point came when I realized I couldn’t control the world outside of myself.
Like I mentioned in the last poem I shared here, the messages are powerful and abundant in my life. I forgot how to trust myself, pay attention to the little things, and take a leap of faith. I’m applying that not only to myself but to my writing.
It’s a big step to keep learning and growing while moving forward in my truth. The anxiety might keep trying to creep back in, but I know I’m doing what I am supposed to and telling the story I was meant to share. That is all we can do as writers and human beings.
Embrace that inner child and share its knowledge! D. L. Finn