zondag 6 maart 2016

Reading my own work

One of the things most of us have to deal with is the faceless ‘they’ who seem to make up all the rules of conduct in this world. As a child I always pictured them to be a council of old and sour looking people who sit together and create the laws. One day, I’ll write a story about them.

But let’s get back on track. In the writing world I get slapped around the ears constantly with ‘you should feel this way’. A wonderful example of this, I hear everywhere that a writer has to love reading their own books. Because if you don’t love your work… why would anyone else?

You know what… by the time I finish a book… I freaking hate it, and the thought of having to read that *&^%$ again makes me cranky. That feeling fades rather quickly, but still, there is that moment.

That doesn’t mean I hate my work altogether. Not at all, because of course I am excited enough by my story to want to write it, or I wouldn't have bothered. I often fall in love with my characters, and I’m truly enthusiastic about my plot lines. So… plenty of love. But I just don’t enjoy reading it. For a reason…

First of all… I have read it. Over and over and over and over and over… and I could go on. There’s writing it, then reading it over, then editing it (which is more reading) so that I can send it to my beta readers. Then I read it again, one time for each beta reader (which are at least 3 in my case) then I edit it again, and again… and only then do I send my work to my publisher. Who will read it, give me more notes, so that I have to read and edit it again. That draft will get sent to the editor. There will be a few back and forth sending of the manuscript between the editor and myself, where I will read and edit again. When it’s finished the book will go to a proof reader (another editor) and then I get to read it for one last time. Blah, blah, blah... you get the point.

By this time I’m so sick of the work, I’m willing to ritually sacrifice it to a goat. Not a god. A goat. Not even a goat that will then be sacrificed to a god. Just one of those fat ones that jump against a fence because they think you have food. That kind of goat.

I’m digressing again.

It’s okay to reread a book, mind you. I love getting out my Harry Potter series at least every five years and reading them all again. But not the same book over and over again in a row. It’s not fun. Well, not to ME anyway. I don't like repetition. And I can’t just ‘read’ my own book. Even if I were to pick up one of my books in ten years time, I would still be editing the damn thing in my head. There is no way I can let go. If I were left to my own device, I’d
never stop editing. I’d edit until there was nothing left of my original story.

 Because I’m a bit loopy.

But no… I don’t enjoy reading my own books. I enjoy it more when you read my books. Especially when you like them. Then I can live vicariously through your eyes, and I can share my thoughts and my world with you. That works better for me.

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