NaNoWriMo editing…


NaNoWriMo editing…

I made a promise to myself that after the final day of NaNoWriMo 2012, I would not look at my completed work until I had finished my University degree. Well, I made it! My degree is over and I have spent two blissful weeks reading some of the books that are precariously balanced on my over-flowing bookshelves, downloading yet more Kindle books published by indie authors, and writing short stories and flash-fictions, finally indulging the pounding plot bunnies that have been thumping around in my mind for the last few months. But now, after catching up on some much needed sleep and deserved time of lazing around, the real work begins.

Having a look at the calendar on my wall, I joyfully crossed out in bold red ink the dreaded Dissertation deadline and Positive Psychology exam date, and then flicked to the month of June to see what was looming overhead.

Yep, and then I saw it…that terrifying date.

“30th June 2013 -NaNoWriMo Createspace discount ends.”

The one thing that I both hate and love about NaNoWriMo is that you have to write under pressure. Unless you are one of those amazing authors that I worship who can whip out 5,000 – 10,000 words a day, writing 50,000 words in the space of 30 days is a touch challenge. However, last year I surprised both myself and my cosmic sister, who is also a writer, by thundering through the words at an extroadinary pace, and at the end of November gave a huge sigh of relief thinking; “Well that’s the hard bit done.”

And now comes the editing.

From what I hear from my twitter and facebook writerly friends, editing is the worst part of writing. I’ve always agreed. Over the last three years I have loathed the proof-reading and editing of my University essays, where after too long every comma looks like it is in the wrong place. So I sat down with my freshly printed NaNoWriMo in front of me, preparing myself for the great slog.

So maybe it is just the euphoria of proof-reading and editing something that does not in any way relate to psychological measurements, stress effects on memory or dreaded spreadsheets of statistics data, but I am loving every minute of this editing experience.

Having taken a break of six months between writing and editing my novel, I have come back to it with a fresh mind, and I instantly remembered why I loved writing it so much. By spending time away from my characters and the situations that they face, I can now see them in a new light and find it easy to cross out whole paragraphs of interactions and replace them with some more appropriate.

My only worry is finishing the editing and formatting of the novel before the end of June, but other than that lingering worry, I can honestly say that this has been one of the most inspiring writing experiences of my life.