It’s been over 4 weeks since I finished my book. I felt elated even though I knew it was only the first draft. After 10 months and some 95,000 words, I needed a break from it, and decided not to look at the book for at least a month. The plan was that I would come back refreshed and be more clear headed and prepared for the ‘PEP’ work. PEP = Pruning, Editing, Polishing. As all writers know this can be a long procedure and a lot of work. Self-criticism is always difficult but it’s essential. But first I needed some relaxation and time away from my study. Needless to say, I became involved in other work, which has been all-consuming, and I don’t feel as if I have had much respite. It’s said that a change is as good as a rest, but I’m not so sure. I like writing and I can do it at my own pace and in my own space. I don’t take telephone calls, I ignore the untidy house and I can eat chocolate as often as I like with no one to witness my greed. Working with others seems quite stressful by comparison. Anyhow, I must soon re-focus on “Dear Magpies” and start the edit. This week, I went to a lunch in a New Forest Pub with other members of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and gained interesting insights about other writers’ ways of undertaking the editing process. It’s so helpful to feel I’m not alone in finding the task so daunting. Cutting out the flab in one’s prose is vital, but it does feel like discarding weeks of work and jettisoning beguiling words that seemed so good at the time they were composed. It has to be done and I must get down to it. Perhaps next week!