How to stay sane while editing your novel

It's no secret, editing is hard! You have to make sure all your vowels are in the right place, and everyone has the correct number of hands. You have to make sure nobody forgets important plot points, and things happen in the right order. You have to do all of this while making sure your draft is fabulous, and makes sense. And, if you are a pantser like me, the hard part is taking the chaotic beauty you have given life to and tying it in a neat bow. Tricksy! But I've come up with a few tips on my travels that I'm going to share with you now:

Don't feel overwhelmed In the beginning, it may feel like there is a more wrong than right with your draft. Don't panic! Find a system and stick to it. If it helps, imagine that your first draft is actually on fire and/or suffering from some kind of natural disaster. What will you do? Where will the fire go? Figure out what is most on fire and then decide whether this is a bad thing or not. If it is not a bad thing, probably try to work out why everything in your manuscript is not on fire in this fast fading metaphor for I don't know what anymore reality is slipping where am I ahhhhh.

Feed yourself Feed your mind as well as your mouth hole! A hungry writer is a grumpy writer (mostly)(probably) so go ahead and let yourself take breaks. Eat! Read! Take a moment to watch the clouds pass by overhead. Take a moment to also wonder why have clouds swirling around your kitchen ceiling. Debate with the emergency services who should deal with this matter. Consume a lot of caffeine to deal with the fact the clouds have now started raining book covers. Watch your the world blur a little and consider not drinking so much caffeine. Whatever you do, the point is to let yourself breathe. Don't become a prisoner to your editing, or the swirly kitchen clouds. Be free.

Celebrate the small things High five your favourite wall hanging on the way to the shower. Have an exclusive party with only one attendee in the middle of your living room. Throw confetti when you realise that this scene is very much looking fabulous. Tell all your friends and assorted kitchen appliances! Celebrations don't have to be massive to be meaningful.

Internet This includes but is not limited to collecting gifs of your favourite manatees, cats, and ducklings in the hopes that your laptop will simply absorb the fabmazingness, and questioning your sanity on blogger.

How do you stay sane?