Just as I finish one round of edits, I start anew. How many times have I edited my novel? Too many times to count. And every time I truly believe it’ll be my last. When I start questioning myself, when I grow tired of reading and rereading the words I already have memorized, I put my manuscript aside and let it simmer for a while. Two weeks later, the problems are clearer. The grammar errors stand out on the page. The dialogue sounds weak in areas that need attention.
But this time is different for me. This time I have a professional editor’s critique of my manuscript to guide me, and when I’m finished I’ll send it back to her for line editing. This time there’s an end in sight.
My next project has begun to preoccupy my thoughts, tugging at my shirtsleeve like one of my children trying to get my attention. I prefer the first draft, the blank canvas onto which I can paint my scenes. I love it when my mind is wholly preoccupied with developing my plot, when I allow the words to say what they will without worrying about punctuation, when my characters surprise me by taking a direction that wasn’t part of my original plan.
It’s all part of the process, the first-draft through the twentieth. One can only hope that it’ll get easier over time, that as my writing skills develop so will my editing.