Editing vs Rewriting – the squekquel

After many months of trying to rewrite an old NaNo-novel, and not getting past the first chapter, I’ve had to face the truth; I’m not a rewriter. I only realised this after an author confessed the same thing on the NaNoWriMo-forums, that they only ever edited without rewriting completely because the story only ever felt fresh once.

I’m embarrassed by how slowly I’m learning to be a better writer

It’s a novel idea to me, the idea that some writers just can’t rewrite. But it’s no different from the variety in pantsers to plotters, chronological writers to jumpers, and all the other types of writers out there. It’s just taken me a long while to get to grips with what kind of writer I am. And of course that’s the key to being a good writer; lots of practice, making mistakes, figuring out what works for you. Only if you’ve done all of that, can you start to think about getting your stuff out there (and getting people to read/buy/value it, which is even more important since you can nowadays publish any ol’ stuff).

With my new perspective in mind, I’ve taken my last draft, recopied it into my Scrivener file and only deleted the old beginning to make way for the new, more action-packed one. Next up I need to figure out the best places to add in the alternative POV sections, and start writing those. Lots still to do, but at least there is some progress being made, at last. And thus, I keep learning forever more.

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Challenge fail

So.. 15 minutes of writing a day did not happen. I failed my goal in spectacular fashion, not even managing it once. In my defence, I have been pretty well occupied with my work, an important/annoying presentation, and the switch to a long distance relationship. Still, in order to be a writer one has to write!

Does this make me not a writer? Or just one with writers block? I had the best intentions at the start of this blog to get my novel rewritten in time for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (open now!), but I have been making excuses for not writing. No time, no energy, too much work, no idea what to write, everything I can think of sucks, I can’t do my thoughts justice on paper etc. I’ve tried switching to other projects, writing random dialogue between characters to get to know them better, writing a sequel for NaNo.. Nothing seems to make me more inspired.

So.. I have two options:

1. Admit I am not a writer and give up, focus on my real, paid work.

2. Suck it up and get back to writing.

Black-and-white. Do-or-die.

Well, I am a writer. I have been a writer since childhood. I can’t not be a writer.

So.. I simply have no choice.