I had an epiphany this week. I realized that we aren't just writers, we are rewriters. This realization came while I was trying to edit and rewrite a few ideas that Ash and I had for the beginning of our WIP. I found myself rewriting, redoing, trying to reword something, needing to reformat...and then I started thinking about all the re-ing that goes into books as a whole, the stuff we all have to do before we can send our stories out into the world. We revamp, review, rephrase, reflect, reduce and rebuild, remove, refine, repair, and sometimes we just have to redo the whole thing. It seems like we do a lot more re-ing than actual writing.
Writing a real book is not like all those times in high school writing a paper the night before, sometimes only hours before it needed to be turned in. I know that in the world of writing there are deadlines that need to be met, but it seems we use the time a little better, at least I use the time better than when I was back in high school or college. For me, I typically waited until the night before a paper was due and then I poured out all my ideas and thoughts and usually only had time for a once over for an edit before turning it in. I'm sure if I had cared more about my writing back then I would have put more effort into it, giving myself more time, allowing for all those re's to help my writing. Now, however, the story we are writing means something to me, I want it to be its best before it is released into the world. Recognizing this has helped me and changed my perspective.
Realizing all the work and all the re-ing that goes into a book has also changed how I critique other books. I have had a taste as to what it's like on the writing end of a story and can appreciate the effort and time, all those "re" words that it takes to produce a good story.