But today I want to pat myself on the back – not because I’m starting a major piece of work, but because I’ve done more this year than I’d thought. I’d quite forgotten that at the start of the year, I did a HUGE edit of this novel. I chopped and chopped and pared down and whittled and rewrote bits and rethought Part 3 and gave it more life and really, really worked my arse off. I even made notes for what was to be the last edit – not a proofreading-type edit, but an actual rewrite-type edit, in which I sit down and rewrite the whole novel (with the most recent draft open next to me) so that the words feel fresh and new on the page as they come out my fingers, so to speak. I even made notes. I made pages of notes. I told myself what to do.
I even gave it a name: The Killer Edit.
And then I did what I needed to do: I walked away from the novel so that when I came back to this killer edit, I’d feel fresh and raring to go. Which, amazingly, is just how I feel! This is a HUGE project. I’ve been working on this novel, on and off, for bloody years. After the year I’ve had with writing failures, I feel ready for this enormous challenge. I want to be consumed by its problems and find ways of fixing it up!
What gets me is when I last worked on this novel: it was March. Yep. March this year. Just as Covid19 began to raise its head. Just as this new word was added to our vocabulary. I last modified the notes for my Killer Edit on the 6th of March. It doesn’t seem that long ago. But it also feels like a whole lifetime.