Don’t Edit Tired

As you know, I’ve been editing my young adult story in preparation for submitting it to literary agents. I’ve been enjoying it a lot so far. I like the story, I like the characters, I like their interactions with each other (even when they’re being annoying; it makes them feel more realistic to me). Obviously I hope other people feel the same way about my novel but I’ll never really know unless I get published one day.

So Tuesday night I was editing my story. It started off good but as the night progressed, I got pretty tired. I spent a good portion of my night editing while tired. I do not recommend doing that. Because all day Wednesday I was pretty convinced what I read Tuesday night was crap. Which then spiraled into No one’s going to like this; how will I ever get represented; how am I going to fix this problem; how am I going to rewrite 5-6 chapters without messing up the overall plot line? Wednesday was not a “I’m feeling it! I got this!” kind of day. :/

When I got home, I took some me time before jumping into editing. Hung out with the cat, took a shower, scrolled through Instagram and twitter. After a good hour, I felt pretty level headed and clear minded to tackle these problematic chapters. I was determined to find a way to make it work.

I sat down outside in the sunroom, headphones in, music playing and started working my way backwards instead of forward. I crossed out a few words, rephrased a few sentences, added a couple of sentences but other than that, I didn’t need to do much. With a clear head and not tired eyes, I could read the story objectively. The chapters weren’t bad. It was my mindset that had been subpar. I knew while I was editing tired I was missing things that needed to be changed. Instead of stopping for the night, I persisted. And my tired mind translated that all those chapters sucked. So Wednesday I spent all day fretting over these chapters when in reality, they were perfectly fine. They just needed some fine tuning like all the other chapters I’ve edited.

I have learned my lesson. I will not continue editing when my mind becomes tired. It’s not worth the worry. I’m so excited to be doing this but at the same time, I want to fly through it so I can start querying. But it’s not worth it. I need this to be as perfect as it can be so I have as much potential as possible. Which means I need to take my time. I need to stop editing when I’m tired no matter how badly I want to continue on. Smart choices are the right choices. Especially concerning this dream. If I am to reach my end goal of being a published author, I need to be smart.

So moral of the story: Do not edit while tired! You just create more work for yourself in the long run. Ha ha. I hope some people find this helpful; a lot of you probably already know not to do this but I wanted to share anyways.

As always, thank you for reading and thank you for the support! ❤

— Alessandra

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