Winter is coming as the temperature falls, the need to stay home and write warms my heart and makes me think about my stories. And when I think about my stories a mixture of happiness and melancholy envelops me and my heart sinks.
I've written four books and God knows how many stories I keep pushing in my subconscious, letting them grow and mature like good old wines. So what do I do when I'm not writing? I'm rewriting, editing and working on my stories again and again and then even some more.
It's not that I don't want to let them go, but as a reader I demand more and as a writer my voice changes the more I write so I need to change the story and that's pretty much how I find myself in an ever ending loop. Actually it's like I'm in a maze running for my life and when I finally find the way out, I stop, look around, and then I voluntarily enter the maze again.
To be fair, until now I was mostly editing and my first two books because they demanded too much time. I let the first one go, named it a trial book but the second one is not like that. I've edited it a quite number of times but now that I’m rewriting its sequel I realize that I should have rewritten it not edit it in the first place.
Because it’s a voice thing.
Say you wrote a book but between life and other responsibilities, even another book in the way, it took you one year to get back to it. (True story!) What’s the first thing you realize when you read the first paragraph? Is this my voice? Did I wrote this because it sounds like someone else! How many times did you frown when reading something you wrote like ages ago?
Well, a year is a long time, many things can happen in a year and if you worked on your writing, invested time and gained experience, then you’re not the same. So the book is not the book you wanted to write but this is not a bad thing. Re-writeit! You would have edit it either way, so rewrite it and you can edit later.
Just don’t rush it. I’ve fallen for that many times. I know that you crave to share your story with the world, but be absolutely sure when you do it. I haven’t done it yet because it’s twice harder when you don’t write in your first language, but I will get there eventually. I’m writing experimenting with my stories, write more and searching for my voice. The one that will not make me frown when I come back to read a story after six months or a year.
Focus on finding your voice and don’t be afraid to even write different versions of a book if your heart tells you to do it. Write it, but read it as a reader not as its author.
We’re all writing our story in life. Some more literally than others, but consider us the lucky ones. We get to rewrite the parts we don’t like.
So, what’s stopping you?