I edited all my words away

Dear Internet,

I have been “editing” the first draft of my novel for the last two weeks. Basically, that means re-writing it. I apologize for my long absence, but at the moment I feel empty of words. They have all gone into my work-in-progress. And at the moment, I hate every single one.

Yep, that’s right – I hate every single word of it.

My writing sucks, my characters suck, the story sucks. My writing is painful, wooden and filled with clichés. The characters are flat, lifeless, boring, exchangeable. And my story… what story? Why was I deluded enough to think I could write a novel? I’m wasting my time, I’m wasting everybody’s time and I should just give up.



Alright, now that bitterly-needed rant is out of the way, I guess I should start picking myself up again. Let’s start at the beginning:

According to this excellent and very funny article on Fevered Mutterings, it appears that at the moment I’m “officially the least reliable critic of [my] work in the entire world”. Oh. Okay. Alright.

And didn’t I read somewhere… oh, well, actually, just about EVERYwhere, that a first draft is just that: a first draft and it needs to be re-written and edited, re-written and edited, re-written and edited, … [repeat another ten to fifteen times]? Hm. Well, yes, I guess I did, but … But did that mean me?!? It did? Ah, okay. Well, that would explain some things.

On top of that, didn’t I read this pep talk by Lemony Snicket on why it’s best to give up writing straight away? I guess I did. And when I did, I wanted to sit down and write a ten-part epic novel right away, but sort of didn’t get around to it. So the conclusion? Read it every day to hang on to that power and inspiration.

It might even get me through this re-writing chore.


About wordsurfer

writer, ex-teacher, human rights believer & fighter, traveller, adventure-seeker, freedom lover, global citizen. big on daydreams, less so on reality.

Posted on August 28, 2012, in day-to-day, surfing language and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Oh, the pain of re-writing and editing. If it gives you heart at all, I’m 3 years in to the first novel, on edit number 4 and STILL coming up with ideas that (I believe) will genuinely make it a better story. Can I really be bothered to go through all that again? Hmmm. If I want this to be the book I think it could I guess I’ll just have to eh? So plough on, edit away and, yes, keep remembering why you;re writing in the first place, no matter how soul-destroying it seems at times. And boy, doesn’t it just.

    • Three years! Oh my gosh, you are so brave!
      I’m playing around with the next fresh outline, but I know that I’m (mainly) so keen on it because I want to avoid the edits. And what also keeps me from diving right in is the thought that in the end, I’ll be at the same point with that new idea that I am right now with this one… Hm. You are so, so right – ultimately, it’s worth it to plough on and see it through (again and again), but … boy, do I need to rant and storm and complain in between! 🙂

  2. I love the crazy writing! That is exactly how it feels when editing! It is amazing that no matter how many times I do it, I still find something else that need to be change. Even after it has been edited by someone else. LOL! The worse part is that after I published my short story, someone found some issues with it. It is a never ending story. It is frustrating, but rewarding in the end. 😀

  3. Nobody published a masterpiece straight away. No need for that. Just publish and keep going! Or does anybody care about the first Nirvana album? It was important but not the end of the story!

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