Read, Write, Read Again

Read, write and then read again. That’s been me these last couple of weeks. Sometimes, reading is the only way I can break through when writing slows down. When my mind just can’t get past that block that won’t let me continue. Or when my book seems to be slowing down, getting boring and I can’t figure out a way to bring it back to life. Sometimes, just reading a little bit gets my head spinning and I can write. Sometimes, it takes reading a whole bunch of books before I break through.

As a person with OCD, editing my book has also been a slow process. I need to check it again and again, until I’m certain that I covered that bit. Until I’m certain that everything is the best it can be. Sometimes it’s not, and getting through that is hard. No one wants to hear that their book needs work (especially if it’s more work than you expected) but that’s all part of making it the story you envisioned. Rewriting, adding, and correcting the book is all a part of turning the book into the story you wanted it to be in the first place. It’s a slow process, but the best part? It gives me a chance to relive my story, to go through and correct things I was going to correct in the first place. To add new moments that bring more life and individualism to the characters. Edits are hard to handle at times. That tightness in your heart that threatens to break it until you calm yourself and say, “It’s okay. This is good. This is the best thing for your book and you can do this.” Sounds dramatic, huh? But when you put your whole heart into a story, when you love your characters like they were your friends, it can be dramatic.

I think reading as much as I have these last couple of weeks has really helped me. Reading, in the past, always helped me with my writing. But now that my book is being edited, and I’m working through all the wrinkles in it, reading as like a whole new experience for me. I wondered what it was like for the author when they had to change things in their books. I wondered how they handled it. I’ve always heard authors say they were anxious about getting the edits back from their editor. I understand that now. Knowing that it made authors anxious, I thought I was prepared for it. I wasn’t as prepared as I thought, but it’s having an open mind and heart that makes the difference. It’s rocky road, but it’s getting better. I am opening up to needed changes and I’m learning! That’s the best part! I love learning. Reading and writing all the years that I have has been a learning process itself. This is like moving up to the next level of learning. It’s the best.

Read, write, read again. That’s me, doing what I love. These two weeks have been full of that. Some of the best advice I was ever given about writing was to read as much as possible. That’s why my room is currently overflowing with books. Because once I started, I couldn’t stop. 🙂

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