In Which I Work Up the Nerve to Edit Something

There's a lot of waiting coming up in the next few months, in which I have to just hope that Air Pirates is good enough. In which I have to write the next thing. The thing is, I have at least two finished drafts sitting on my computer, one of which probably will be the next thing, but I'm having trouble working up the nerve to edit them.

This is what's going on in my brain, then. Welcome to the crazy.

Brain: Work on Post-Apoc Ninjas. It's pretty good, and it has a lot of the same feel as Air Pirates.

Me: But I'd have to rewrite over half of it. It's so much work! Can't I just work on this New Shiny over here?

You'll have to rewrite that draft, too. It's less work to revise Ninjas.

But what if it's not? What if I write something that's mostly good on the first try?

Has that ever happened before?

. . . But if I rip out half of Ninjas, it'll feel like I wrote it for nothing.

Look at it this way: you still have half of a good novel.

What if I rip out more than half?

It's still part of a good novel. It's more than you had before you wrote it.

But what if I revise Ninjas and it's still not good? All that work will be wasted!

That's what you say before you start every draft.

I'd have to revise it AGAIN!

Look, what's it worth to you to write a good novel?

I HAVE written a good novel. It's called Air Pirates. Have you read it?

And how many times did you revise that?

. . . I hate you.

So long as you finish something.


Ryshia Kennie said...

In the space when a book is finished I usually have that sense of fear there will never be another good idea. And then there is one, then two and there is always the draft in the drawer. And I'm terrified that none of them will be good enough. Maybe that's why I write early in the morning before I have a chance to be coherent enough for indecision :)

Steve MC said...

Your brain gives good advice. Can I borrow it?

vic caswell said...

ohmygoodness, YES!
my head has the same argument (minus the finishing a good novel part) all the time!

Matthew MacNish said...

How did you get a glimpse inside my daily deepest fears?

Unknown said...

I think we've all expereinced that inside-head conversation a time or two ;)

Nancy Thompson said...

And this is why I fear publishing!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

There is no work that is ever wasted. :) Your brain knows this (it's so smart!).

Anonymous said...

This is so right on, Adam. Does it make it better or worse to know that practically every writer on the planet goes through a similar conversation after every project? I think better. Thanks for sharing! :)

Deniz Bevan said...

"But what if it's not? What if I write something that's mostly good on the first try?

Has that ever happened before?"

Now that sounds like me. Good to know I'm not the only one!