The dreaded rewrite...
This is perhaps the most frustrating part of writing, for me anyway.
After working with my editor for almost four hours, I decided my completed manuscript was headed in a direction that led to a dead end. 77,000 words and I didn't have a way to end the book in a satisfying way.
But, after much prayer and contemplation, I decided to go in the direction I had originally thought of back in 2009. With the help of my editor, this direction seemed to make the most sense.
What does that mean? It means setting aside 77,000 words and starting over.
It's a good thing I enjoy writing! And it's also a good thing that, as an artist, I already know about starting over and how it can lead to a much better product in the end.
In art school, I had to complete at least 20 sketches for one painting before my instructor would even consider me ready to put paint to canvas. This was a new strategy for me since I usually just started painting without giving it much thought!
Not so...said my instructor. He was a master artist raised in Communist Cuba, so he knew something about discipline. He told me his art instructor made the students do push-ups as punishment for talking in class! Not in American classrooms. So, it took some getting used to his methods. But his methods had merit.
I became a better artist just from listening to his ideas and obeying his commands. I sketched...and sketched...and endured his harsh critiques.
So now, starting over doesn't mean the end of the world for me. It's just another step in the writing process. It means I am sketching out my idea before I put paint to canvas. It means stopping and standing back to look at my sketch and asking some questions: is it working?
I know I will have a better product in the end as a result of this discipline.
But most of all.....I will keep writing!!