I've been knee-deep in edits for a week now, deep vortex style. I'm sure there's a saner way to do this, but it's generally how I work--all consuming delving into the book and nothing else for awhile until I finish. At least that's how I've operated in the past, but the combination of school + motherhood + writing is kind of kicking my ass this time around! Nevertheless, the edits are progressing and the stakes are being raised in the safe parts of the book. And my child is getting fed regularly and taken to school, and I think I even remembered to eat and shower today too. Maybe. I think... :)
This edit-round is strange. Bigger than I've done w/ the previous shelved novels I wrote, and maybe that's because the stakes are raised in real life too? I know this will be published and on shelves and really representative of my first major effort as a writer and artist. And I want it to be GREAT, like the best of the best of what I read. Like John Steinbeck wrote in the Preface to East of Eden, this book is the box that I'm trying to put the most important bits of myself in--philosophical themes about what I think is most important in life, a heroic action story-line, and my fears and hopes about life could and should be. You know, not to put too much pressure on myself ;) I just feel like I have a chance to do something really great and stunning with this novel, and I want it to live up to its full potential.
Which equates: lots of hours spent in Edit Land. It's amazing what a few months away from a novel can do to your perspective. Raising stakes, erasing safe moments, making emotional arcs more seamless. I can't decide if it's exhilarating or exhausting, it's probably an equal mix of both.