I started writing this series in 2019, where the characters burst off the page and into their own adventures. I wrote and wrote and wrote, on trains, after the little one had gone to bed, and on weekends. I thought I would stop after Book 3, and started Book 4 on a whim. I blasted into that and on into Book 5, where a difficult scene put me off for 3 weeks but once it was over, the scenes flowed again. Book 6 happened and then Book 7, where I hit a 'this is really not it' feeling and have put it down for a while (I think I've solved that, by the way!)
I read and re-read my work as I went (I'm not able to put it down and let it bleed out of me, sorry, Stephen King). I fixed the main typographical errors, my surplus of 'was', 'then', the sentences that start with 'And' and 'But'. I added Oxford commas and took them away. I found places where I told rather than showed, and zapped them. Something... something was still missing.
I let a friend read them.
Letting people in is hard for me. Writing is personal and these characters feel like a part of me. In a way they are, of course, but they don't belong to me. They belong to the world. As soon as a friend (who I trusted to tell me I had toilet paper on my shoe and lipstick on my teeth) read them, they became hers as well. The best magic of all is to imagine a world, a series of events, and a cast of people who you love, like and loathe, and have someone else do the same.
That's how I broke my editing block.