sunny, hot, temps 30
Gorgeous day. slight breeze - brushing away most of the black flies. Started with breakfast in Cowansville. Then home to start the second draft of book 7.
There are two terrifying days in my writers calendar. The first day of the first draft...I hate first drafts. Very scary. And the first day of the second draft - or the first edit.
that's today. I love editing, but the first day is terrifying because I've just spent 3 months fighting to keep the big, fat, stinky critic at bay. Behind the bulging door.
And now I have to let it out. I need the critical eye and thoughts for the editing. But by now the critic has grown mighty bitter and pissed-off and full of bile. It's just mean. And it's in the room with me. Venting. Screaming that I've just wasted 3 months. That the entire first draft is the worst pile of skunk poop ever dropped. That the characters are cardboard, the story confusing, the conclusion cliched. and, while we're at it, I'm fat and stupid and ugly. And, are you really going to wear that???
You can see why the first day of editing is pretty gruesome.
As it approached I kept reminding myself to stay in the day, in the moment. Don't think ahead. Just write down ideas as they came and don't listen to the critic warming up in the background.
As I went for walks I tried to open my mind for inspiration, and ask for help and guidance, and courage.
this morning, the first day of editing, I lay in bed and opened emails...and there was a message from a woman I hadn't seen or spoken to in 40 years. In her long email she was describing a mutual acquaintance...and her description was exactly what I was trying to do with the book. I wrote her back and thanked her - and asked if she minded if I used some of what she wrote as inspiration. And she said not at all.
It was so strange. Like waking up to an email from the gods of inspiration. It was thrilling. As I read her message so much of what I had to do became clear. Often it's just a turn of phrase...as it was in this case.
So I sat down and re-wrote the whole first chapter. Using what I already had as a base...but coming at it from a different angle. It feels right and good - and calming.
The first day is always the hardest. But when it was over Michael and I celebrated with our first swim of the season in the pool. The kids swam all weekend - the temperature in the pool was 70! Since the forecast was for continued hot weather through the week we put the heat pump on and it's now in the low 80's.
Back to editing tomorrow. It gets progressively easier. And more exciting, as the fear slips away.