July has been rough. I won't be sad to see it go.
Nothing terribly big has made me feel this way; it's been the little things, one after the other. At times like this, I'm incredibly grateful for Spousal Unit, and to have the ongoing project of my novel to work on. Knowing that at least one part of my day will be the same has been very helpful and reassuring.
On days when I'm upset or discouraged, I've started saying to myself, "Let it be fuel for the fire, but let it be the right fire." I accept whatever I'm feeling and put it to work for me, using that energy toward my plan to become a self-sustaining author. Then I don't waste time endlessly grinding my gears and getting nowhere. (Or I waste less time, anyway.)
Which leads me to the update. I've finished reading the whole thing, beginning to end, and taking notes. I wrote down the facts that I included about each individual character, each city, the storyline as a whole, the timeline, and the most complicated bits of science fiction.
That was a lot of notes.
I read through the notes, starring the things I haven't included and need to, putting a question mark by the few things I have yet to decide. This notebook has been well loved, and will continue to be for several edits yet.
Yesterday, I began actually making the edits I wrote down. The physical copy of the novel is scribbled with things like, "Expand on this," or "Blerg - make this suck less." Now comes the task of going about that by re-engaging my creative brain and reminding it what the words are for, reminding it of the gorgeous flow of careful language. Each word is chosen with love.
I noticed, as I created a new file for this draft, that I began Draft 3 at the same time last year. I had a weird sense of déjà vu, then wondered what had taken me so long (oh, right - I wrote the other half of the book).
I think I'll be through this draft much more quickly than the last.