For me, there are two distinct components in writing a book … the actual writing (or the creative process), and editing (or the technical process). And for me, the two processes are so incredibly different, I actually have to put effort into making the transition from one to the other.
I’ve never been required, before now, to find a way to make the transition so quickly. With Grace, I wrote the book before I had a contract in place, before I actually even had a computer, so the creative process occurred all in one fell swoop. Mind you, the swoop took months, but every time I sat down (or plunked myself across my bed, in some instances), I was already in the mode to do what I’d been doing all along. Just me, my colored pens, and my spiral notebook. The first edit took place when I was physically typing what I’d scrawled into the rudimentary laptop Daddy “acquired” for me from his office. And, in the years between the first edit and my first offer to publish, I spent a great deal of time in edit mode and almost none in writing mode.
Faith was no different. With no offer forthcoming, I set Grace aside for a period of time, and dipped my toes back into the pool of creativity. The transition took place gradually, and I waded in up to my knees, before plunging into the deep end once again. I had a few new things to teach myself, such as writing to a screen, (though I did then, and still do now, the bulk of my writing by hand in those spiral notebooks.) And, where Grace took only months to write, Faith took years. I was busier, with active older children, so I created in spurts. But, again, it was all creative process until I received the offer on Grace.
Charity is breaking new ground. With a two book offer, one for an already completed manuscript (Faith), and one based only on a working outline, or synopsis (Charity), I’ve had to repeatedly transition from writing mode to editing mode. Write Charity for a couple months, then hear back from my editor on suggested revisions or corrections on Faith. Edit Faith, send it back, then plunge back into the creative process to work on Charity for a while.
This last transition was the toughest. Line edits on Faith came in the middle of a burst of creative energy, which I had to instantly put aside for “shouldn’t take too long … about a week, right?” I managed it, taking a day or two longer than I’d anticipated, but I made it happen. And now, with any luck, the copy editor will be happy with the items I addressed, and I can remain immersed in the creative process until the galley comes for proofing. And proofing, thank goodness, is way easier than editing.