The Novelist’s Little Helper … or Maybe Not

Miss Poppy asked,
Miss Poppy asked, “What are you going to do?” “Deep editing,” I said.
I’m sitting down to do some more ‘red-pen’ deep editing on my Tuppence Weatherstorm manuscript and Miss Poppy seemed interested. She’s the novelist’s little helper, or so I thought… 
Until this …

Miss Poppy thinks I'm boring.
Miss Poppy said, “That’s boring. I’m sleeping.”
When she declared (with her body language) that I’m boring.

Gotta love the little ragdoll rag-a-muffin. She’s very good at letting me know exactly what she thinks and feels.  

Another editing phase of Tuppence Weatherstorm
Another editing phase of Tuppence Weatherstorm

Oh well, I’ll keep editing out the boring stuff until I’ve got the exciting stuff on my pages.  Maybe then Miss Poppy will approve of my novel?  For now, she’s split the joint and slunk off to the windowsill and I’m left at the table with my other little helper, Rocket. 

Rocket lending me his support as I deep edit my manuscript.
Rocket lending me his support as I deep edit my manuscript.

I do love my poodle companion. He’s here for me, no matter how boring I look. 

So, I’m up to page 202 of 418 on this round of editing.  I’m not loving this process but it’s got to be done.  I prefer to let the creative ideas flow out and this phase of casting a critical eye over my work has been tough. So I’ve been procrastinating.  

This phase of the self editing process is also bringing up anxious thoughts.  

Thoughts like: 

“You can’t write.”

“Total rubbish.” 

“You’re not good enough. You’ll never be good enough.”

The kind of thoughts that seek to destroy my confidence and stop me from reaching my goal. 

But then I remind myself that I’m learning how to edit my own work one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page and one chapter at a time and I’m doing the best I can.
At some stage in the future a professional editor will do their magic and help guide me to publication.
It’s just … sometimes that dreamed of publication seems so far away and … unobtainable.

But I have a goal and I’m working toward it.  Right now, I’m in the ‘red’ of it. 

My partner, Dave, reckons I’m procrastinating because I’m afraid of people reading my work and that it’s getting closer to that time when I could seek professional editing. 

I don’t know. 

I feel vulnerable. 

I feel lost in it at the moment. 

I don’t know how professional authors cope with these anxious thoughts. They must have them. But they also have a strong enough ego to believe in their writing too.

I hope I’m cultivating that. 

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