Both editing and moving go through similar stages.
Stage 1: Optimism.
It's not so bad! I have plenty of time and the house is already pretty clean. I have a plan, I'm organized, I'm ready. Just let me get started and things will be done in no time!
Stage 2: Confusion:
Why do we own fifteen pairs of mittens? Do we really need this? Or this? Wait, this goes in a box I've already taped up! How could we run out of boxes? Where were we keeping all this stuff? But if we pack all the towels, how will we take baths? WHY CAN'T I FIND THE ONE THING I NEED THAT WOULD MAKE THIS WORK?
Stage 3: Despair:
This is too much work. It'll never get done. The house is a shambles, everything's pulled apart and there's no way in hell I can ever put it back together. I'm running out of time and my back hurts and I'm tired and it's all impossible anyway. I should just lay down here and hope a pile of boxes falls and mercifully crushes me. Goodbye, cruel world!
Stage 4. Determination:
Well, I suppose I can't actually lay down and give up. I mean, this has to get done, we made an agreement with the landlord, and he's already rented the house out to someone else. So I guess I'll get up. Put this in a box, put that in a box. Clean this shelf, pack this drawer. Just keep moving, doing what needs to be done, because sometimes that's just what you have to do.
Stage 5: Tiredness
I can't feel my hands anymore, and my brain is an endless gray blanket of fuzz. I haven't showered in days. I forgot to eat lunch, and I'm incapable of any conversation other that "uh." Time has stretched out to one long slog. All I know is dirt and boxes and the smells of cardboard and cleaning solution. But I'm not stopping, no way. Just gotta keep trudging...
Stage 6: Arrival
Wait, I'm done? Like really done? Like nothing else to do? The truck is packed, the last bit of dust has been wiped from the closet, everything is clean and bare and ready for the next family. I'm done. It's over. We did it. Time to celebrate!
Stage 7: Collapse.
I'll celebrate after I sleep. *thunk*
Right now I'm in stage four, but I'm sure I'll be in stage five by Tuesday. And I went through this exact emotional process with both my line edits and my copyedits as well. It's all perfectly normal, though it's no fun at the time.
In other, happier news, the City of a Thousand Dolls cover reveal is tomorrow!
And to whet your appetite, here's the link to my City of a Thousand Dolls Pinterest board, so you can see stuff that reminded me (and my editor) of the book.
Yeah, I'm on Pinterest. I caved.
AND there will be a contest unlike anything I've ever done before on the blog. Here's a hint:
It all goes down tomorrow, so don't miss it!
If YOU had to compare editing to something, what would it be?