Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Z is for Zealous

 I hate revising. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you already know this little tidbit about me. And so it is with no small amount of pride that I share that I am closing in on the halfway point of revisions on my latest novel.

Big deal, right? That's what authors do, right?

Um, yeah. That's what we're supposed to do -- when we don't get distracted by the next shiny project, that is. 

The last non-Marita, Angel, Charli novel I finished is still sitting in a drawer. It's way too long, even after one revision. I know I need to go through it again, and I really do love the characters and the story, but it's all so...daunting. And so, when new projects came to mind, that's where I put my energy and my focus. 

Last fall, I set a goal of finishing my latest book (the one I'm revising) by the end of the first week in January. I met that goal, and promptly set another: to revise that book and send it to 24 agents and/or editors in 2024. 

Weird goal? A bit. But it was a goal designed to get me out of my own way. Creating is not always easy, but it's fun. Revising is hard and submitting is hard and neither is particularly fun. In order to get to goal #2 (24 in 24), I had to complete goal #1 (revising the thing). And submitting to 24 industry pros means I can't let the first few (or many) rejections slow my roll.

So, I went public with my goals -- accountability and all that. When I finished revising the first third of the book, I sent it out to readers, using that step to keep my momentum going. 

The mind games we need to play with ourselves sometimes defy explanation. (Just me?)

Anyway, it's working. I am diligently, zealously powering through this revision. I've promised myself that the book doesn't have to be perfect because expecting perfection is enough to make the whole project collapse under its own weight. My critique group has already given me feedback that I've incorporated. My volunteer readers will give me more of the same. Together, we'll put together an end product that I can send out, hopefully this summer.

Some days, I'm excited to dig in. Other days, I'm not so zealous. But successful completion of a chapter at a time is a powerful motivator. And going public helps keep me on track. 

20 chapters done. 16 to go. Less than 35 pages to the halfway point.

C'mon, zeal. Don't fail me now.

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