Week 4: As NaNoEdMo Kicks My Butt

As I feared might happen, NaNoEdMo is kicking my butt. Although I’m only slightly behind schedule, finding a “catch-up” time in the near future seems bleak. I was right when I predicted that the requirement of actually putting in the time would make this harder for me than NaNoWriMo, where my ability to write quickly works in my favor. Based on how much I’ve been able to edit in about 1 1/2 hrs every day (minus Thursdays, which is why I’m behind), I’m beginning to suspect I’m a slow editor. It’s never been quite so obvious to me that rewriting takes significantly longer than drafting.

I’ve gotten a little stuck rewriting Rapunzel (the prince is in the midst of a psychological makeover), so I returned to Rumpled, which has been resting since the beginning of the month. Working through draft 5, I’m beginning to notice a few things about my process:

  1. Editing is REALLY, REALLY important. It was so nice to be able to breeze through pages of Rumpled without hitting snags, as compared to all the untangling (pun intended) I’m still working on with Rapunzel. If ever I doubted the value of editing (ha, and put myself out of a job?), this experience has confirmed it once more.
  2. I notice a troubling trend in my writing — and that’s that the reading experience gets less smooth the deeper into the story I get. I think this is because the opening sections have been reworked MANY times, as I start from the beginning with edits every time I’ve taken significant time away from the project. Still, it was disheartening to find myself making so many markups in the second half of Rumpled, including some that required yet more deeper-level content editing.
  3. Becoming a proficient writer is definitely a lifelong process. I’m convinced that I’ll never arrive at a point in a story where I truly feel done — as close as I thought I was with Rumpled, my latest read has raised some doubts. This is alternately inspiring and depressing, depending on my mood.

I think I might have to accept just finishing below 50 editing hours this month. I’m telling myself that putting in 40 hours (or however much I end up with) in one month is STILL significant progress. But my Inner Competitor grumbles.

Something will have to give, and I just haven’t decided what it will be yet. Will I allow myself to make less money this week? Will I do the bare minimum for my Coursera class? (I really hope not — this week is Freud, and I love Freud!). Will I be antisocial and hole up with my computer or e-reader at the Easter festivities? (Easter, WHY couldn’t you hold off till April this year like you have so many times in the past?) By this time next week, I’ll know.