but it is a very long way to swim

a novel

I’ve been staring at a mountain of words. Maybe it is a pit of words. No. An ocean of words. Everyone says to just start. Pick up a story and start the rewrites, the editing, the polishing, the reconstructing. Yes. I know.

Take baby steps.

Take a deep breath.

Dive in.

I feel a bit like the person saying that is standing at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, pointing to the water’s horizon, and smiling reassuringly. “You will get to the other side.”

But I am a primitive person who believes the world is flat and I’m going to swim straight off the end. Well, okay. The world is round but it has sharks, rip currents, and pirates. And I’m a terrible swimmer.

Why did I write so damn much? Aren’t there enough words already? And I’ve got an idea for another story–it’s like tying weights to my ankles.

So. I may not be reading blogs as much, but I am reading more books while I stand here on the shore shivering and proving we are all our own worst enemy.

How do you feel about swimming?

5 thoughts on “but it is a very long way to swim

  1. How do I feel about swimming? Well, I like it when I can do it. It’s been a while. I have a stroke I love which lets me make a lot of ground in a little time so I don’t have so much re-swimming later, but… gotta get the OCEAN done before I can swim.

    That’s how I feel.

  2. My problem is that I still suffer from the same stupid fantasy I had as a child. I used to waste a tremendous amount of time wishing for some other parents to come waltzing through the door and claim me. They would then drive me away from everything to a much better life. Yeah.

    I got over that and dealt with the parents I had. But then in college I latched on to the some-really-amazing-guy-is-going-to-save-me-from-the-horrors-of-dating. Ugh.

    And now I suffer from the-magic-editor-is-going-to-tell-me-how-to-fix-the-mess-I-made delusion.

    Some people waste money on buying lottery tickets. I waste energy on whining for a perfect editor.

  3. Sarah

    For me, the first draft is the way you describe it- an ocean. The editing part is a neat zip across the pool, comparatively. I’ve read that writers tend to prefer one or the other- but I think they both suck!

  4. I am so NOT looking forward to editing the WIP once it’s “done.” Oh, yes: it will be “better” than all other drafts I’ve accumulated in almost 20 years. Even so, I know it’s got problems — gaps, continuity, flat-out boring writing. It’s one thing to know that, and another to be confronted with cold, hard, must-fix-this reality.

    Oh, and I can’t swim.

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