There are some superstar authors who don’t hate editing or revising. I spend a lot of my revision time envying them, instead of doing what I’m supposed to be doing, because that’s how I roll. And that’s probably also why I still haven’t finished a revision of my middle-grade book, Gryphon. Because I hate revising.
I do love writing, though.
So, over time I’ve been building up my resolve, and packing it together like a mud pie from lots of little shredded pieces of sanity (they fall off now and again, and must be collected in a handmade wicker basket). The following bullet points have occurred to me:
-Print it all out, to stop the ever-present I must change this word right now, this isn’t right, and now I am so hung up on this one stupid line that I am so frustrated with myself and I wish this had all never happened at all goodbye world.
-Mark it up with non-red pens, in order to psychologically trick myself into thinking that maybe, in blue, it’s not all bad (love me some blue, mm-HMM)
-Think of it like writing a new, better book than the previous one. Even if that means literally retyping every single freaking word. Good god I hope it doesn’t come to this.
-Punctuate stretches of madness (I mean, revising) with something you like: writing a new manuscript, typing on typewriter, showering cat with love and affection, rolling in mud.
-Try writing a short pitch for the manuscript under revision, and use it as a guide to keep the story on track and interesting.
The hardest part is not getting ahead of myself. I want so badly for it to already be done–to start writing queries (I know, I know, things are bad when you look forward to writing a query) and pitching it and sending it off to critique partners and all that other stuff that makes me feel good about myself instead of this… whatever it is. Madness, or something. Or, wait, is that just another word for “author”?
I take it back. The hardest part is remembering that it will be awesome afterwards. That even if this draft’s not perfect, it’ll be closer to perfect than it was before; I’ll finally get to fix all those things I skipped over in the first draft because I thought (and rightfully so), first draft, don’t care, don’t care as long as I finish it.
And so, I feel like this post needs to end with a picture of Buzz Lightyear. Because he is optimistic to a fault and kind of cute.