Writing a novel is sometimes like walking down a long, dark hallway with a brilliant light at the end of it.
Today I feel empty. While editing this new novel, I took my longest walk to get to the end. I’m not saying the book is profound or important, only that writing it is always both a continuing and unique journey.
I picked up a Ray Bradbury quote a year or two ago that says everything about editing: “You let the story cool off and then, instead of rewriting it, you relive it.”
Revision is definitely reliving. You re-enter a world you’re already somewhat familiar with, but you start to notice different things. Having notes from an editor provides some detail on the map, some points to make sure you re-visit on the way. As you work, the hall gets wider and deeper, and if you’re really lucky, brighter.
I love this hall at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and visit it every time I’m there. I love the notion of approaching the light, and approaching the muse, again and again.