My fingers have anxiety.
They are cramped with the inability to write. Not carpel tunnel or any other painful health affliction, no my fingers have developed anxiety. How is this possible you wonder?
In my previous post, The Pursuit of Publishing Pt. 1 (also posted on http://trinityhanrahan.com), I discussed the beginning of my journey to publish my first book. While I am excited to fulfill a dream, I have developed a new hindrance. I am afraid to write too much.
I’m in the process of writing my second-ish book (technically it’s my fifth). Suddenly an experience which usually makes me delighted, is freaking me out. I keep hearing a nagging voice in my head, “Take out the last sentence, it’s too much!” or “Rewrite this paragraph, it’s too long!” and of course, “Screw it! Write what you want and fix it later!” You get the idea.
But Eleonora the Editor (yes, I’ve named my mental editor) continues to poke at my mind with her annoying comments and editing pen. I feel inhibited to write the story the way I normally would. My system is to go all in without any thoughts except those of the character’s. Unrestricted, uninhibited just go with the flow and lose myself in the joy of writing. Perhaps as an author I should write a book, “Once upon time. The end.” At least that’s the impression I am getting. While trolling the internet for potential editors to work with, I was constantly told, your manuscript is too long.
Now before I get into whether or not I agree, let me preface this with saying, I belong to an ancient group that seems to be a dying breed or readers (more on that in my next posting). In a nutshell, I was informed that if my 350k word manuscript was published as is, it would be too long, too thick, too much, too big, TOO, TOO, TOO!
Whether or not the manuscript is/was too big, is up for argument. As the only too I cared about is the one that came before the word money. As in, how many words do I have to lose so this book won’t cost me too much money.
Work effort and money aside, my manuscript was returned from a wonderful beta reader, who had great insight and constructive criticism. Alas, when I scrolled through the endless pages of my manuscript, my eyes bulged, heartbeat increased (okay stopped) and I said, “Oh @&*!, I have to read through how many pages with comments?”
Perhaps it has coincidental. Or perhaps it was intentional that her comments filled the margins of majority of the pages. Either way, I got it. I finally understood the “too,” I was constantly being told.
Do I agree with shrinking the book down to boring basics? No. However, my thinking has been swayed to emphaticize with my future readers, who might be too overwhelmed with my book’s lengthy pages and might turn to the next book on the shelf. 😉