Writing is much like life. You think everything is going well, then when you stop and take a look around the shocking reality sets in. With the current shutdown it seems many have slowed down long enough to be bothered by the landscape of their lives. This should be something everyone is doing periodically, however it’s great they’re doing it now.
If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s ok to let a part of you burn. We do controlled burns in forests to prevent larger problems later. This is also what the editing process in writing is all about.
Most people don’t want any portion of themselves to burn away. After all, we’re hardwired for self-preservation. However, truly surrendering yourself to a higher power requires sacrifice. It’s not fun, it can hurt, but the results are a testament to your devotion.
Killing your darlings in writing, or cutting out things you wrote that seemed like genius, but while editing you realize are useless or even worse is a necessary thing. It’s not fun, however it will improve your writing greatly.
Sitting in your house during this quarantine you might realize there are things about yourself you don’t like. The worst thing you can do is turn on Netflix and tune out. Maybe it’s that you indulge too much in fattening foods, you use language you know you shouldn’t, your house is a mess, you’re constantly finding the faults in others, or whatever else. Make a sacrifice of those things to God. This involves drawing up a plan of how you’re going to cut that out of your life. It’s probably going to hurt and that’s actually a good thing. Some of the greatest lessons are taught through pain and suffering.
In case you can’t tell, I’m in the later stages of editing my latest book. It’s actually kept me off here and away from many other things. I’ve killed many darlings and it’s hurt, but as a result I believe I have a much better story on hand. This book hasn’t turned out how I originally conceived it; the journey has been difficult and rewarding, with many twists and turns. However what I have now is a potent yet entertaining story I think children and adults can both appreciate.
A publication date has yet to be determined, but it will be this year. Actual information about this Gracie the Ghost Eater sequel will be revealed soon. I think a lot of people will be shocked about where things are going. I’m going to shut up now before I give away too much too early, but this is going to be a good one!
Image by Steven Symes. All rights reserved for this blog post text and the accompanying photograph.