I received some interesting advice from a professional last year: You’re always working on someone else’s book. What about making time for your own?
Being an author in my own right, I felt that was a fair question. I’d begun a prequel to my first book (Life in the ’Cosm) called The Stealth Lovers, and as this was an origin story about two beloved warriors, Xax and Viv, reader excitement only fuelled my desire to complete the novel. I can thank NaNoWriMo for the push to write about half of the manuscript in November 2017, but I had far to go.
Then my freelance editing job kicked in again in January 2018. I’d completed style edits for A Desert Song (Amy M. Young), Little Yellow Magnet and Life and Lemonade (Jamieson Wolf), and Moonshadow’s Guardian (Dianna Gunn). All great books, but four manuscripts in three months left me a little frayed around the edges. I needed a breather.
So, I consulted with another client who had no problem with rescheduling to June. That left me with April and May for my head-clearing break.
I coined it my writing-cation. I took April to set (and achieve) a goal of 25,000 words to complete The Stealth Lovers‘ ugly first draft. Then I made it prettier in May and sent it off to beta readers. (The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive with much-valued constructive notes.)
When June 1 came around, I felt refreshed! Funny, it might seem odd that I regrouped from words by writing more words, but penning a novel is very different than editing one. My clients expect a certain kind of perfection from my performance. As an author, especially doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April, all I have to do is get the words down. They don’t have to be pristine; they just have to map the story. And yes, even though there was some self-editing in May, it’s still not the same. I made the beta-reader draft as nice as I could for this stage of the game, but I knew more of a fine-tooth-comb editing would happen after I incorporated their feedback. My deadlines with writing are self-imposed, which also takes the pressure off.
So, I’m really excited about having another book in progress. I hope to submit it to Renaissance in the late summer or early fall. If you’re interested about my life as a writer, please visit my author page!
And what am I doing now? I just started editing The Rabbit Paperweight by Robin Elizabeth, who is a most wonderful and compassionate human. Her book has me riveted so far.
All my authors are massively talented. They make my job such a pleasure. I’m glad I work for them, but I’m also glad that I remembered to work for me, too.
Such is the existence of an author and an editor.