I've rewritten this particular book probably 20 times now. I don't mean dinky, fluffy little revisions. I mean MAJOR REWRITES, probably half of those starting the document from scratch with a blank slate.
This book makes me feel stupid when I look at the stats.
People who have read a draft of the book at one time or anotherestimated 50 people (Can you believe that? Yeah, neither can I, but it's sadly true. Some of those 50 people have read the book multiple times.)
Years I've worked on the book15 (You'd think it would be really, really, really good, huh? Yeah, it's not. Yet.)
Number of rewrites20
Number of places I've lived while working on this book4
Number of times I've queried the book2 (This was a brief moment of insanity, and then I realized how far off the book was from being ready. These are the only official queries I've ever sent out for anything I've written.)
The book's first word count37,750 (I first wrote the book by hand because when I started it, I didn't even know what a word processor was.)
These numbers aren't anything private. They are the things I can share and laugh about. People, writers and readers alike understand these facts for the most part. So where does writing get private? As I was working on the book a few days ago, something clicked. I don't mean a small click. It was a huge, monstrous, earth-shattering CLICK!!!!!!!!!!
I almost stopped breathing.
I finally knew how to make the book work. I saw what had been wrong with it for so long. It's something I'd love to share, but honestly, it wouldn't make sense to anyone but me. It's strange. A part of me wants to try and explain what has happened, but it would only come out as a very long, dry, and confusing post. I finally have instincts to guide my way through writing. I've spent a long time building these instincts, and there is no way to share them with anyone. It's sad and depressing and selfish all at the same time, but a part of me doesn't care. That part of me is jumping up and down with excitement that I can finally make this book work.
I think every writer needs privacy surrounding the way they write. It's great to share some of the knowledge we have, but much of the magic which happens during the writing process can't be explained or shared. I think that's how it should be. Sometimes I read posts about rules and processes and I get so overwhelmed with all the noise. It's good to learn these things and understand them, but the only thing that's going to make your writing truly amazing is to find the place where you forget everything else and trust yourself. Nobody can tell you how to do that but you.