Self-Editing: How I Drive Myself Insane

I’ve never thought of myself as an anal personality, but I’m beginning to wonder if it was just a matter of seeing what I wanted. No matter how hard I work on a MS or how long I work on it I never believe it’s good enough. Of course this makes it easy for my editor and my beloved beta reader, Winnie. Even as a kid I was my own worse critic and it’s only become more obvious to me how anal I am in the past year.

I’ve been working on a series which I’ve mentioned before AP Investigations; a series that follows the adventures of a team of paranormal investigators led by gay psychologist Valentin “Val” Amoretti. The idea for the series came to me two years ago and I decided to try something a bit different for me–an outline and character sheets. All of that went well and I started on the first book a little over a year ago. My last novel took six months and I’m setting here wondering WTF? Fourteen months, 299 pages, and 65,o65 words later and I’m still having a fit tying this one up–why?

Writer's Block? Naw, I'm fine!

Because I’m driving myself slowly crazy with the damn self-editing that’s why!

ARGH!

Don’t get me wrong I’ve always self-edited and I’m a huge proponent of self-editing, but with this series I’ve taken it to an entirely insane level. I drove myself so nuts that I was unable to write a single word for nearly eight months. That is a whole new level of crazy for me. 😛

My poor beta writer has had to deal with my insanity and Goddess bless her for being the understanding soul she is, but I think I’ve even drove her nuts to an extent. One particularly bad night I was ranting in her ear, close to fucking tears, about how my writing career was dead before it even really took off.

Dead, dead, dead! *weeps & wails like a banshee*

She proceeded to tell me that if I quit writing that she would find some fucking way to hop a plane from Australia and arrive in the US to kick my sorry ass. There were threats of also slapping me around like a red-headed stepchild and knocking some bloody sense into my thick skull.

Honestly, she was right. I had taken self-pity to an all new level; 20,000 tiny violins were playing loud enough that aliens in outer space could hear them. And why? Because I’m so fucking anal that I kept self-editing to the wee hours of the morning than just writing the bloody story and finishing it. My characters were even getting pissy. At some point, Valentin, psychologist extraordinaire, flopped down in a chair and shrieked at me, “Sweet Mother of Jesus, just write already you stupid woman! You’re so lame that I’ve only gotten laid once in this book.”

Having your hero bitch about your lack of writing is a definite wake-up call. So, two weeks ago I sat down and opened the MS, stared at it for an hour, and then miracles of miracles began to write for the first time in what seemed forever. Valentin was happy, but he’s still a bit on the bossy side. Why you may ask?

He wants to know when he’s going to get some more dick. Yeah, he’s a horny little bastard, but I still love him.

Perhaps, I have lost my mind. After all my hero is glaring over my shoulder right now asking why I’m blogging instead of writing another sex scene for him. *rolls eyes* I guess I should go before he decides to plant his foot in my ass–again.

Self-editing be damned for the moment. I’m more fearful of an imaginary psychologist. 😉

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4 comments on “Self-Editing: How I Drive Myself Insane

  1. Jesse, I know exactly what you mean, only you’re lucky enough to get your books finished in a reasonable amount of time and it takes me 20 years. Seriously. I absolutely loved this post, especially when Valentin indignantly gave you what-for. People don’t believe that characters DO that. They sure do. Kit, from The Phoenix, was the biggest damn nag in the world. lol If I could write interesting posts like this, I’d do more of them. Good luck with your books!

    Your covers are amazing. Did you say somewhere that you do them yourself?

    • Thank you so much, Ruth! At least someone doesn’t think I’m completely insane. *chuckles* Characters really do chew you a new one don’t they? Especially if they don’t think you’re doing it right. *eye roll* Yeah, Valentin can be a pain in my ass without even trying, but I adore him nevertheless.

      Writing posts like this helps me clear the clutter in my brain and dust the cobwebs out of the corner. My friends sometimes tell me I should have chosen comedy as my career. *snorts*

      Yes, with the exception of Le Jardin de la Lumiere (which my beloved beta reader/artist did) I’ve done all my covers. I’m lucky enough to have a publisher that allows us to provide our own covers if we want too.

      Thanks for the well wishes and good luck on your ventures as well!

      Blessed Be…

  2. Oh, what a relief to read I’m not the only perpetual self-editor! And I laughed to hard at poor Valetin flopping in the chair, pissed with you! I love it!
    And my crit partner would certainly relate to your beta reader’s frustrations! But, like yours, she is patient.
    Enjoyed this blog—well, did I enjoy it or just hugely benefit from it?
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Carol welcome to the world of the perpetual self-editor! You my dear are not alone in any way in this curse. My editor loves me for it dearly I think. Makes her job easier, but she has to wait for those stories she likes so damn much. 😀

      Yeah, Valentin thinks he’s comedian, put I’m constantly pointing out that comedy is not his strong suit. He always comes back with stupid shit like “Yeah, but it doesn’t stop you from getting me naked.” or “You do realize I’m a figment of your imagination–don’t you?” He always quirks one eyebrow at me when he says this and peers over the rim of his glasses which are forever sliding down his nose.

      As for my beta reader, Goddess bless her for letting me rant and get it out of my system. If she didn’t my head would probably pop like an over ripe tomato and lets be honest; getting brain matter out of the keys of a laptop is just not worth it.

      If my rantings made you smile, laugh, or even helped you in some way then my job is done! *snickers* All I know is that it’s nice to know I’m not alone out there. *smishes*

      Blessed Be…

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