Rewriting is a very interesting process.  As someone who writes pretty cohesive first drafts, the whole concept of rewriting has been a little alien to me.  I’ve done the subtle change and chapter rewrite here and there, but rewriting is something that I’ve had to really learn over the last year.
2015 was an incredibly busy year for me.  It was my Year of Hard Work after all, with a large part of that hard work doing the first rewrite on Black As Knight.  I can’t tell you just how hard I worked on that.  I came away from the experience feeling like I’d really levelled myself up several times over as a writer and produced something that I could be really proud of.
2016 is my Year of Staying Hungry.  It’s my reminder to myself not to rest on my laurels, that to reach my new writing goals I have to almost forget everything that has gone before and work even harder.
That can prove a little difficult at times.  After putting everything you have into a rewrite, to be faced with a second one that builds on the work you’ve done…  well it can seem a little daunting.
I struggled with this a bit at the beginning of the year.  With hindsight I felt a little overwhelmed.
Part of my Year of Staying Hungry has been to give myself some health goals.  Leggeddon left me with side effects that would take a lot of work to overcome.  I’ve worked hard, both on nutrition and exercise, the result of which is that I am in the best condition of my life.  Seriously, I had three people tell me this past weekend just how good I was looking.
But this has made me realise something.  When I started going to the gym at the beginning of the year, I had enough trouble lifting the deadlift bar.  However, over repeat sessions these last six or so months, the weight I can lift has slowly increased.  This week I managed 106kg.  Now I’m sure there are plenty of people who can lift far more, but the point is that I couldn’t.
I realise that by tackling things again and again, you improve.  That’s true whether you are lifting weights, learning to play an instrument or writing.  You level up.  Things that seemed impossible some months back are now viable, the product of hard work, staying focused and not resting on your laurels.
So now, having cracked a major sticking point with a character in this rewrite, I feel energised and challenged in equal measure.  This is never going to feel easy, I realise.  If I’m focused on constant improvement, each new project or rewrite is going to feel impossible to start with.  With that in mind, I’m really starting to enjoy the challenges this latest rewrite is throwing at me.  It’s certainly not going to be easy.
But then, if I’m doing it right, it never will do.