Stay away, stay away!

Don't touch it.
Do something else.
Don't write another word.
Do yoga
 mindful breathing
anything else.
Whatever you do


Two weeks since the manuscript and I've left it alone, as per Penelope's editorial direction. The first draft is in her hands but it's a first draft with holes and soft bits and looseness and dubious underpinnings and while I've obeyed in principle (nothing is less efficient than a writer and an editor working, unknowingly, in parallel) I've reorganized and rewritten the story fourteen times in my head.

I remember how it felt to present unpolished, untested words for assessment. Up to my neck in caveats and doubt. Skin on inside-out. Anticipating the vastness of differences between the first draft, which exists, and the second draft, which is yet another gulag away from where I stand.

I want so much to be good at this. At the writing, sureβ€”but at everything else. At patience, discipline, detachment. Submission, humility. The belief that the book is its own entity, that profound re-writing is not at all failure, but the natural and good growth of creative infanthood. At waiting, leaving it be, at least for now.