I was so stressed out, and not just from editing. It just seemed over the past several weeks that I didn't have time to get anything done that I had planned. Everything I needed to do just slipped through my fingers and the time disappeared. Plus I had to edit almost 300 pages thoroughly.
I was 100 pages into the hard copy of my manuscript last week (and yes...I started editing sometime in March), and I was leaving for the beach on Friday. I told myself that this past weekend, I would be free from any and all obligation to do anything at all, including working on my book. Sometimes you just have to step away from it and come back with a clear and focused perspective. That was my goal: to do absolutely nothing the 3 days I would be out of town and come back refreshed and ready to work.
I carried my writing bag in my car (only because it had my iPod in it...and it seemed way too logical to just take the iPod out and put it in another bag), but I had no intention of using anything else from that bag while I was on vacation. So when I opened it up as my friend waited (not so patiently) on me to walk to the beach, I can't even tell you what possessed me to grab the next set of 20 pages that I hadn't started working on yet. But I did.
And it was one of the best decisions I made.
It wasn't long before I headed back to the car to grab another stack of pages to work on. When I left the beach that afternoon, I had edited 48 pages! And it wasn't just a comma here, or new paragraph there. It was intense editing.
And the next day, between the beach and the pool, I finished the last 140 pages. And I did it.
It was so freeing being on the beach, staring out at the ocean. The weather was perfect. It was mid 70s all weekend, with a light breeze. Plus hearing the waves crashing around you--it was so relaxing that I was able to shut out everything else that had been on my mind for weeks and focus, really focus on the pages before me. And I was so inspired that I was already thinking about the next one I plan to write once this one is through.
So, if this means that everytime I'm stuck or having a difficult time (or when I enter the editing phase) that I need to take the next weekend and head straight to the beach, then so be it (I will take any and all excuses to spend a day at the beach), but if any of those trips are half as productive as this weekend was...there's no telling what I'll get done.
So now round 1 of editing is done...well, at least on hard copy. Now, I have to type up all the corrections and changes I made and then prepare for round 2.