I was experiencing a dream in fiction, then I discovered the ultimate reality of my dream. Let me explain. These past two weeks I dedicated myself to the editing and partial rewriting of my novel The Masterless Apprentice. I arrived home from college late at night. I hugged my parents, talked a little bit, and then went to bed. The next morning, a Saturday, my alarm went off at 6:30AM. I got up, showered, dressed, and grabbed a breakfast of bagels and Shredded Wheat. Precisely at 7:00AM, after checking my e-mail, I got to work on my novel.
I started at page thirty because I had done some editing while at college. Two hundred and ninety pages left to go before the 31st of this month. That was my goal and I have beaten my goal by two days! For a while, those first few days, I was living my dream. I was living, working all day, as a writer and making progress at it. I wrote several short stories, a book review, a devotional, and made good progress on the editing during those few days. I worked 7AM to 5PM. My watchwords were dedication and quick meals.
I was in paradise for those days. Then came the holidays and my demise. I transferred from my fictional dream of what freelancing is like to my probable reality. I liken it to being a young, single freelance writer and being a married freelance writer. My probable reality is the married freelancer with kids and parties to help with. Instead of 7 through 5 solid writing, my days became something more like 7 to 10 writing, do some housekeeping, 11 to 12 write, 1:00PM to 3:00PM write after having lunch with family, 3:00 to 5:00 PM watch children. I did a lot of catch-up work late at night.
My fiction world faded last Wednesday. Ever since then I've been living in what I imagine my probable reality. I am sure I would have failed my goal if I had given up on my watchword, dedication. During the second week of probable reality I stopped writing short stories, only did one book review, and dedicated my every writing hour and spare time to editing my novel. Yesterday, the 29th, I finished the editing process. I then went back through my comments and rewrote parts that needed rewriting. The novel still needs some work, but I feel that it has improved greatly since the beginning of these two weeks.
Honestly, there were times where my motivation sunk to a terrible low. These were painful times when dedication became as a rope covered in ice, by which I hung with one sore hand. I clung on though, I clung on for my life. Sometimes that is all the writer can do when it comes to editing and rewriting. Laying the words out unto the paper (or computer document) is relatively easy in comparison to the final editing and rewriting process in which we polish our work. At least, this is my opinion about such differences in difficulty levels. If you have a different view, please, let me now.
Joshua A. Spotts