One of my favourite quotes from The Lord Of The Rings. Not earth shattering, or deeply moving, just plain, sensible advice. And from one of my favourite characters; Sam Gamgee. He’s quoting his dad of course – the Old Gaffer – but its none the less something he says to Frodo when they are starting to feel the pain of the day to day trudge towards Mount Doom.
So why am I starting with this quote?
Silk Over Razor Blades (SORB) has had a good rest period. I’ve written lots (LOTS) of flash, a couple of short stories and a novella since looking at it last. Its time I went back to it and gave it a bashing like it will never forget. I need to finish it. It needs to be done.
I downloaded a trail version of Scrivenor and separated the whole manuscript into chapters (I really like Scrivenor and have decided that I’m going to buy it at some point, but that’s a separate post). Then I started picking at the first chapter which, in truth, is the worst of the lot and needs some really rough treatment to be the way I want it to be.
Then I stopped. I stopped dead and haven’t looked at it since.
That was over a fortnight ago.
I feel so… I can’t even think of the right word for how I feel. I’m going to rest with ‘scared’ because that’s the closest approximation I can make.
I think back to 2010, when I started querying and I know now that I wasn’t ready. Since then, the piece has had a savage rewrite and lost about 30,000 words that were just dead weight. Now I’m looking at it again, desperate to query it but terrified to take the last steps which will enable me to do so. I have a plethora of excuses (hehee, thanks Char! I was desperate to get it into a blog post!) and though valid (some of them) they shouldn’t stop me working. Not when this is what I want (what I really, really want).
(yes, even now I can’t take myself seriously)
When I think of how much this story means to me, and how long I’ve spent on it, my chest constricts and its hard to breathe. I can feel my mouth drying out even as I write this and there’s an annoying little tic in my left eye (though that may be more to do with the fly that just took a kamikaze dive at my face). Clearly this novel is the source of an emotional roller coaster for me, such that the mere thought of giving it the last edit it needs to really shine, fills me with dread.
I sit in front of the computer and do every other job in the world except the one that needs doing most. And ‘needs’ is certainly the right word. I need to do this. If only for the closure and the ability to move on afterwards I need to do this.
But if I don’t start, I’ll never finish.
Thanks Sam Gamgee. I think the time has come. I think SORB is finally going to get the editing work it needs to go out into the big wide world. I have to let my baby go….