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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sticking it out!

The writer's life isn't exactly what I imagined it would be. Granted, I hadn't given it much thought. But I figured it went something like this: Write a book, get it published. Move onto the next.

For me it all started with an idea. More specifically, the conflict. I went with it, and soon fell in love with everything about writing. 
It's magical, right? Discovering who our characters are. Experiencing the way they come to life and take over. Those payoff moments when pieces start clicking in ways we never saw coming. 
Sort of like the honeymoon phase. For me, anyway.

And then the editing phase comes along. And stays a while. And frankly wears out its damn welcome. The editing phase becomes its own life form. One that moves in, takes over the bed and eats all the food. 
I have literally fallen asleep at the laptop while doing revisions/ edits (more than once), and though I can't be certain, I'm willing to bet it wasn't as pretty as the picture above. I will say that I've learned to appreciate the editing phase though. Because in its own way, it offers a different sort of pay off: polish. 
This is the time to really make our story shine. I think it's easy to get to this point and say, "Meh, I'm sick of this one and I'm really loving my new idea so I'm just going to work on that one for now."

My advice? Don't. Do not move onto the next one unless you're shelving your current work in progress. Don't get into the habit of backing down when the going gets hard. Stick with it, make that thing shine, and then do everything it takes to share it with the world!

Thoughts? Comments? I'd love to hear them.


  1. That picture is so cute and I can relate!

  2. I haven't even gotten to the editing phase, but I've already thought about shelving several times. After arguments with myself, I've continued to push forward and am pretty happy that I haven't let it go.

    Great advice! Never give up!!!

  3. I love the revisions process. Some people dread it, but I love making my work shine. I love reading it once I'm finished and thinking, "Man. I love this." Even if I've read it a million times. Even if my eyes glaze over while I'm editing. I still love it. I love making it better.
    I do love new story ideas though. I have a hard time keeping my focus on my revisions. It's hard, but I do it! :)

  4. There are those times when I felt like putting my story away forever. And then there are those times when I felt like giving up on writing all together. I'm glad I've stuck it out.:)

  5. Very important read. A HUGE mistake any writer can make is trying to do more than one thing at a time. More specifically, working on two wips.

    You said it. Great job!

  6. It's hard to stick it through sometimes. Editing (for me at least) is a pain in the butt. I just want to write. But I also want to improve, so I have to stick it through, just like you said. :)

  7. For me, the revision process is the most fun. It's the getting everything down to begin with that's overwhelming. :-)

  8. Writing is definately not for the weak. We have to work and work and really love it! Keep it up and good luck with your writing.

  9. I actually love revision--it's my favorite part of writing. I'd much rather polish a manuscript than write a first draft. I love seeing a story get better and deeper and richer, and I love having something to work with, as opposed to a blank page.

  10. Interesting to hear how many of you actually look forward to the editing process. The first few go arounds are nice for me, too. But beyond that, I have to force myself to stick with it. Thanks for all your comments!