Short post since my internet is slow at best, although nonexistent is more accurate. My school was canceled today. I spent a lot of my day writing. I’ve been revising my query letter and my first novel. So far the first 38 pages have been revised into 18. It’s hard work. Hard. Hard. Work. Not to mention that I’ve already revised it about three hundred times. Like when I cut the first 54 pages and then revised the next 27 making them 13.
Revision doesn’t go as fast as I’d like it to go. I’m learning you can’t really rush revision.
It makes me tip my head in shame. How many times have I rushed revision for young writers? Imagine my teacher voice: Just reread and figure out if you are missing something. Write two or three new leads and pick the one you like best. Add some dialogue or action — whichever is missing.
Revision isn’t this simple. Revision takes time. The words need to simmer. The writer needs to envision. And then there is reading it over and over and over again until you are so sick of it that you don’t want to read it again, but you can’t stop because you want it to be better than what it is. There is also the fear that if something would happen to you then the world would know how crummy of a writer you really are, so you want to hurry up and finish the revision. I’m not sure enough young writers feel this kind of pressure to revise, though.
Yes, revision takes times. And you can’t hurry it up. You can only plod through it and read it again and swap the words for other words only to wonder if the next day you are going to exchange all of these new words for something else.
So how about you? What’s going on in your writing life and what are you learning from it? Please be brave and share with us.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.