When I was working toward my MFA, there were times when I couldn’t see how much I was improving, whether all those essays and drafts and rewrites were making me a better writer. I couldn’t see into the future. All I could do was trust the process.
Two years later, I feel like I’m back in the same place.
My debut novel is finished and off to the printers. I’m working now on revisions for my next middle grade book. But you guys, this revision is really hard.
Adi said on Monday that being published doesn’t make you a writer. Hard work and vision and intention does that. I’ll add that being published doesn’t make revising any easier either. I would have thought that going through the edits for PARCHED would have made me more confident and efficient at revising.
Not so. At least not that I can see yet. Revision on this side of the book deal is just as messy as ever.
Some days I think my characters are delightful and the setting is fantastic. Other days, I question everything. The worst, though, is when I’m tempted to rush through, to slap on a few bandaids, dab some superglue into the cracks and call it good.
By the time I finished my degree, the transformation in my writing was obvious. Similarly, I know I learned things by writing and rewriting and rewriting PARCHED. I just can’t see it yet. And it’s not making this revision any easier.
But that’s okay. I’ve been here before. I know that I can trust the process.