Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Waiting Isn't the Hardest Part
Last Friday, I made no commitments, opting instead to let the day stretch out before me so I could finally get to some writing. I allowed myself to start the morning in a leisurely fashion, planning my day only after I had taken some time to enjoy a slow start.

But when it came time to write, I didn't want to. I'd been excited for this opportunity, and now that it was here, I could think of so many things I'd rather do instead.

The reason for this was no mystery to me. Not only was I revising (and I hate revising), but I was at a particularly challenging point in the revisions. I'd been chipping away at the same block of chapters for several weeks, and I'd failed to get them to where I wanted them to be. Frustrated by my lack of momentum, I'd even debated putting the manuscript back in the drawer where it had sat for more than five years. But this was a story I wanted to tell, and I knew that good stuff, story-wise, lay on the other side of those chapters. If only I could get there.

So I did what I had to do, and plopped my butt in a chair at Starbucks where I could set my timer and sprint, undistracted by all the other choices of things to do at home. Within five minutes, I'd rediscovered two things I already know, but keep forgetting:

Preparation and organization are essential to a good revision. If you're starting a revision without feedback from readers and critique partners, this might not matter. But, if you (like me) have an abundance of feedback to consider on a large number of pages, organizing must precede revising.

When I steeled myself to tackle this project, I created folders so that all the feedback for each set of chapters was gathered together in an organized fashion and I didn't have to waste valuable writing time digging out what I needed. All I needed to do was grab the right folder.

So it should have been as simple as opening a folder. Except for that second thing:

Getting started is the hardest part.

Created with Canva
And, as it turns out, it was. Once I got out of my own way, it took less than five minutes for me to get back into the story, and within fifteen minutes, I'd polished off all the comments from my various readers for the first chapter in the block and was ready to update my word count and move on to the next chapter.

That's when I got the idea for this blog. And so here I am, typing away, only now, I'm chomping at the bit to get back to the chapters I was avoiding.

So, if you'll excuse me, I have a sprint to finish. Now that I've gotten started, I don't want to stop.

No comments:

Post a Comment