Starting my novel revision is a start and stop process–I don’t understand how it is that one can spend everyday on novel revision. I can’t figure out what to do and where to go just yet, a feeling I experienced when I embarked on my first draft. I’m feeling…lost.
And I don’t do “lost” very well. I’m a “black and white” person–yes or no, there or here, cold or hot, happy or sad, sort of person. Nothing felt as good as it did when I figured out the structure of my novel, and saw the ending of my novel–it was then that I pummeled away at my keyboard and made steady and consistent and (mostly) joyous writing progress. At times I have to say that it was just…total…bliss, enabled by certainty of plot.
It took me years and years to even accept, and occasionally embrace the “gray” areas of living; that I could acknowledge feeling sad and happy all at once was a huge step in my personal development. Even so, in this “lost” space of initiating revision, I am looking for the parts of my novel that do feel certain: the parts that “work” that “should not be deleted,” and so on and so forth.
I do acknowledge that this feeling of “lostness” is one filled with great potential and opportunity, and even though it fills me with discomfort and uncertainty, I know I need to embrace the sensation and this space where anything is possible (versus my tendency to think that “everything is uncertain”).
There is possibility, and I will wander and explore. Yes I will.
And in the interim–I leave you with this articulate illustration, over at “Modern Conjure,” of what writing a novel can and does feel like. (And yet I still write and find it the most fulfilling thing in the world; even the worst days are amazing when I get to write).
Hope, humility, despair, determination, optimism. Fall down, get up, look forward. My novel is making me a better person.