Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Lied

     Remember back in August when I said I needed a blog break to make way for revisions, that I'd be back in September? Obviously, that didn't happen, but here's what I learned.

     Lesson #1: Revisions sometimes take on a life of their own. They don't like schedules.

     I was naive to think that these revisions would be easy. Granted, revisions are never simple, but I love revising. Instead of conjuring an entire first draft out of thin air, a story is already in place. I'm a fixer. I love to tinker and tinkering sometimes surprises me with unexpected turns. 
One of my distractions - gardens!

     Lesson #2: Remove as many distractions as possible.

     As much as it bothered me to stop blogging, I couldn't keep up with both blogging and having enough creative energy to write. But I should have looked at other areas that might distract me from revisions. Taking more substitute teaching jobs than I needed, volunteering to host a party, and washing/sealing the deck were probably not necessary last month; they could have waited.

     Lesson #3: Getting back the groove is hard.

     Like exercise, it's always hard to become motivated again whenever I take an extended period of time off. Not only was I not blogging, I wasn't keeping up with my regular blog reading/commenting, industry news, or even thinking about writing anything else. I was very focused on my revisions writing-wise, but other areas suffered. This post has taken me more than twice as long as usual to write, which makes me wonder if putting the brakes on blogging was the way to go.

     So now the revisions are finished. The manuscript is in the hands of a few readers. I await comments  to set me off on the next round of revisions. The good thing about each subsequent round is the changes are less involved (usually). There's more time for distractions (hopefully). I have books to read, posts to write, and a household full of distractions to get back to.

     How to you manage your time when drafting and/or revising?





12 comments:

  1. First, welcome back! Strong revisions do take awhile. I set daily goals and I offer myself little "rewards" for meeting them.

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I DO like the idea of giving myself rewards!

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  2. Welcome back! If there's something I can let go of permanently, that tends to be the thing I remove. But, to my dismay, I find that most things that I plan to return to are usually best not abandoned in the first place. The feeling of being behind, of having lost ground, of, say, having a harder job cleaning a downright dirty house than I would have had if I'd kept up with a lick and a promise along the way, often isn't worth the time I've gained, and sometimes only THOUGHT I would gain. It's so hard to restart the engine on everything again.

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    1. And I think the lost time and effort with abandoned activities can have a snowball effect. Facing an extra dirty house or a dormant blog gives you the excuse to put if off 'just one more day' because you've been away so long and you reason what will it hurt?

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  3. Congrats on finishing the current revisions! I'm slowly finding that you're right, it's hard to set time scales for them. More and more stuff seems to come up that needs fixed or added. That said, I would like to get my WIP ready for betas by the end of Oct, so I can concentrate on something new for NaNo. Nothing wrong with goals, as long as you make the effort to try to meet them!

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    1. Exactly, Nick! And not beat yourself up when you fall short. Good luck with finishing up you WIP. I've got my eye on NaNo again, too.

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  4. Welcome back, Dawn! I totally get where you are coming from...I've been revising and going to the gym and pretty much that is it for the past three weeks. My husband mentioned we might need to get a housekeeper to help me catch up on our house.

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    1. Thanks, Sharon!
      Ahh, a housekeeper! Wouldn't THAT be nice? Actually, that's not such a bad idea during revisions. I wonder if that would count as a business expense?

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  5. I've taken a while off blogging, too, as I have been in the middle of a major rewrite. But I believe the same applies for both revisions and rewrites, as to stories taking on a life of their own, so I think you were right to stick with the revision until it was finished, even if other things didn't get done. I'll bet you're much happier now. I know I am, now that my novel is in the hands of trusted readers, too. Good luck getting your story placed.

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    1. Dave, I AM much happier (but still with a small measure of guilt), and will follow the same process the next time. I definitely work best that way. Best wishes to you, too!

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  6. It's definitely hard to juggle everything and easy to get distracted. Especially when the thing you have to work on is hard! I always know I'm in trouble when vacuuming starts to sound appealing :)

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  7. When you find the ultimate answer to this question, write it down and sell it--you will make a million! :) I wish I could figure out how to do it all. :)

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