HEY. Long time no blog! I promise I’ll be more active. Promise!
Revisions can be tough. They can be gruelling. And, if you’re anything like me, then you need COPIOUS amounts of sugar (chocolate, preferably) and tea to actually get through them. I recently sent in my third round of revisions for Frayed, and in the end, I was quite pleased with the work I’d managed to do — and it was amazing to see just how much it had changed — for the best — since that first round of revisions. And that, of course, wasn’t including the numerous drafts since ’12 I’d written. So it got me thinking. What are the best ways to get through those revisions?
1. REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS YOU LOVED ABOUT THE MANUSCRIPT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Okay. So this is a massive one for me. Motivation during revisions can be stretched thin sometimes (especially when you’ve been at it for a couple of hours), and sometimes, it’s nice to remember WHAT it was you loved so much about the story.
Was it the characters, the story, the way you’d written it? What was it — as small or large as it might be — that kept you writing it. That kept you rewriting, and revising, and editing. Find that small shard of something, and keep going. Keep writing, keep revising, keep editing.
2. IT’S TOTALLY OKAY TO BE FRUSTRATED.
You might want to give up on your story altogether. You might want to throw your laptop out the window. You might wonder why you ever wanted to be a writer in the first place. BUT WAIT. That’s okay. That’s fine. Ask any writer if they’ve ever been frustrated with their novel at some point or anything and I can almost guarantee that they’ll say yes.
If not then you MUST tell me your secret.
3. TAKE BREAKS.
Read. Devour more books. Read some more. Make some cupcakes. Go for a walk. Buy books. Go to a library. Eat chocolate. See a movie.
4. REMEMBER YOU END GOAL.
Is it to finish those infuriating revisions? Is it to be a published author? Think about what you’re trying to achieve by the end. Write it down, stick it on the fridge — or beside your bed, somewhere you’ll see it.
5. BREAK IT UP.
Focus on one revision element at a time. Me? I totally get overwhelmed by revisions. I find it helpful to break things up into sections, so I work through them separately, then I move onto the next. That way I get things done and stay motivated. Focus on one element of the revision process at a time, that way I find it to be less overwhelming.
In the end, it all comes down to this: we all write, and at some point, we’re all unmotivated or find it difficult. But we sit down and write anyway, because that’s just who we are. Even when we think we suck, even when it’s hard, we write.