As writers, we find ourselves on an unusual path for we are solely responsible for our success. We forego the ability to follow a set of written rules to produce solid work and instead must rely on the power of our minds and imaginations. For the past six months, I have been powering through my novel. Every spare hour has been spent writing, every scrap of paper or available note pad has been covered in ink and I find myself at an impasse. With the first half of the novel all but complete, I have hit a major wall. Worse, I have no explanation. I know exactly where I’m taking the book, I have a hand drawn map of exactly the who, what, when, where, why and hows of the narrative and yet I am stumped.
Imagine a kitchen, and you’re a making a meal you are in love with. Half way through, the bag of rice splits and pours all over the floor, the grains bouncing around and spreading far and wide. You want to keep cooking, but the rice is crunching under your feet and you know you have to clean it up before you can continue. That is exactly how I feel. I feel this compulsion to edit the first half of my book before I continue, effectively “cleaning up the rice” because I want the first half honed and set in my mind in order to produce an amazing second act so to speak.
But this is a semi confusing process as the more I edit, the more I question the work, the more I question the work, the further the rice spreads. Alternatively I could scrap the edit, power through and finish the book and then have the editing workload upon me towards the end. A fellow blogger and writer Don Massenzio once told me that the work load of the editing process got easier with every book he published. I look forward to the day this “rice” stress is lessened and I can focus on the writing more.