For the past week, I've been editing my book. Words cannot truly express what a horrible process this is. For those of you who have not edited a book, but have read a book, I can explain it only as follows:
You pick up a book and read it very slowly. As soon as you've finished, you turn back to the beginning and read it again, even more slowly. In fact, you read most of it out loud to yourself. Some pages you stay on for hours, reading them over and over and over. After a few days of that, you finally get to the end of the book, and then you think - you know what? I should probably go back to the beginning and read this again. And you do.
This process has made me start hating my book. It has also made me start hating my life. And I think I'm beginning to look like this guy:
|Seriously. I've even grown a beard.|
(a) planning out the tattoo I will get if and when I ever have money again
(b) watching NFL games featuring teams of no interest to me
(c) doing hundreds of push-ups
(d) cleaning obsessively
(e) extending daily hikes from 5 miles to 7 miles, or sometimes more like 10, since the woods blessedly contain no editing opportunities
(f) checking email every 3 minutes
(g) meticulously picking sap out of my dog's fur
(h) checking online to see which animals have been adopted from the shelter where I used to volunteer, even though I don't know any of the animals there anymore
(i) writing a blog post
(j) darning socks
Yes, I have really done all of these things. And more.
When this nightmarish activity is finally over and I decide I have a complete first draft, I will send it to a group of peers who have agreed, most graciously, to critique it for me. After all the time and energy I've devoted to creating - and then fucking editing - this book, my greatest fear is that their response to the draft will be as follows:
That would really suck. Even worse than editing.