I’m currently in the writing stage many authors refer to as “revision hell” — when your editor has returned what in your opinion must be a nearly perfect manuscript with notes, suggestions and a lot of changes.
It can be devastating to some people, who take any advice about their work very personally. I’m happy to say I’m not one of those. I actually like having other people read my work and give me feedback. First my critique partners and then when I’ve polished a work as much as I possibly can, to my editor.
But for some reason, getting to the computer and making the time to do the revisions has challenged me. I’m entering the second week of my vacation, and I assumed that I’d be at least half-way through the thirty-one chapters, (It’s a very long book, and my editor cut nearly 10,000 words!)
It’s one thing to complain about not having time to do something when you’re working, or have a lot of interruptions. But when you’ve created time, and then don’t use it well — quite honestly there isn’t much of an excuse.
I even have a lot of motivation for getting this book finished and published. It will be a digital edition, and I’m excited to see how sales of a book in a very different genre, (historical with paranormal elements) will compare to my Western historical romances. I’m writing under a new name, Sibelle Stone, and I’m excited about that too.
So, what’s the problem?
I think the biggest challenge for me has been connecting with this story again. I wrote the book over six years ago, and while it’s always been one my favorites, it involved a lot of research. I have two binders full of material and this is just the first in a series of four books.
So, I don’t think it’s the revisions that I’m afraid of, I think it’s fear of success. Because if this book does well, I’ll be expected to write the other books in the Mystic Moon series. A wonderful but daunting task!
But I’ll then have to become disciplined about my writing, which has always been something of a hobby with me. I don’t write every day, I don’t set page counts for the week, and I’ve never been under contract to produce something in a given time period.
Now with the digital book revolution, I need to write faster, produce better and manage all the other parts of promotion, marketing and sales. No wonder I procrastinate. It’s like having a huge blimp hovering over me, and I’m grasping at all the lines to try to keep it tethered.
But I’m realizing that I’ve forgotten one of the first lessons I learned as a writer. How do you write a book?
Word by word, paragraph by paragraph and page by page. So I will break this task down to its smallest component, and apply myself diligently. I’ve created my own deadline, and I’ll let you know if I make it.
Anyone out there have some good ideas for beating procrastination into the ground?