Thursday, March 10, 2011

Celebrations and Angst

(Here's ch. 8, scene 1 of my book in pretty word cloud form
Ooooh, pretty!)

I hit a milestone in my book revision the other day and I'm still high off the fumes.

I am 1/3 of the way done with my revision!

YAY! *throws confetti*

*runs around in it*

*falls down, exhausted*

It's a good thing I write YA, because it's really easy to channel my inner teen in order to write my characters - the more time I spend on this book the more like an uncertain, emotional fifteen-year-old I feel.

I knew revision was going to be hard. Heck, writing my monster of a book was hard and when I was done, I could already see just how much of the beginning needed to be run through a shredder and rewritten. And the salvageable parts were begging to be hacked up with an ice pick.

Not to mention I'm slow. Sloooooooow. I often find myself pulling out my hair, drinking too much coffee, my eyes, bright red, bugged out of my skull as I focus all my attention on one stupid paragraph for hours and hours and hours, days and days and days. And then deleting it when I'm done because it still isn't right.

I'm trying to accept the fact that I'm a slow reviser. Just as I'm still trying to accept the fact that I'm a slow writer. So many of my writer friends can whip out 8o thousand word books, tear through their revisions, nail their query letter, and dance as their inboxes fill with agent request for full manuscripts, all in the time it takes me to angst over a couple of measly chapters. Ones that I'll probably end up deleting anyway.

It's amazing how easy it is to get discouraged. When I let myself think about how much time I've spent on this book and how little (it feels) I have to show for it, I just want to curl into a ball and scream, "WHY! When will this END?! Am I INSANE?!?"

This is usually when I decide to take a break and step away from the computer before I start smashing things... and this is also usually when I have an epiphany or two, and 3.5 seconds later, you'll find me dancing around the house, shouting, "I figured it out!" Followed by me singing the Hallelujah chorus (which is more frightening than it sounds, as I am a little tone deaf).

And what helps keep me going the strongest on the days when I just want to toss my book into an incinerator and never look at it again: seeing my writer friends tearing though their books, celebrating their own writing and revision milestones, not quitting when their goings get tough. I'm excited for them, and I can't wait until I'm that excited for me. And the idea of future agent full manuscript requests - well, I try not to focus too hard on that, especially as I'm only just revising, but you better believe it's the light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait to get there someday.

*throws more confetti*

For now, I'm going to take a few more minutes celebrating my 1/3 complete milestone.

And then it's back to work, because this book certainly isn't revising itself. Although I'm still hoping it one day will.



Laura Pauling said...

Slow or fast - who cares? We can only work at the speed we can work on. And you're 1/3 of the way through. That's great! Keep going!

Melissa said...

I agree with Laura 100%.

I can't tell you how many times I write, revise, rewrite again. It's a terribly slow process, one that takes me a good year from writing the first draft to querying. (and then you wait forever to hear anything)

Continue to celebrate those milestones, no matter how small you think they are!

CremeMagnolia said...

I'm a constant revision writer so I'm happy for your success!! Your newest follower from EBT, welcome.

Heather said...

yay! I'm so happy you're getting through it and I can't wait to read it! I'm so with you on the slow bit. It feels like I'll never get through this story, but I guess we do...word by word, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter.

~~Bask in the confetti~~

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Gosh, it is so hard!!! But you are doing great work! Mooping AND confetti are both part of the process.

AlyGatr said...

You should be proud of your determination! Anyone else would have ditched it and moved on (but I'm not talking about me...I really, not me). You have your little diamond in your hand, you just have to finish the final polish!

Angela Ackerman said...

This is me as well...glacial at revising. You aren't alone!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

mshatch said...

I've written both ways, Marisa. Currently I'm in the slow lane, with the occasional reversal. It's kind of an adventure every time. Are you revising Cinnia's story?

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Congratulations!! I JUST finished the first draft of my wip and am dreading/excited to start the big R :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Congratulations on hitting the 1/3 mark! There are many ways to write, and like Marcy said, I've done it both ways. It took me 2 years to write my first novel. It took me 6 months to write the second one -- (and another year and a half and multiple revisions to land it with an agent.)

So, fast or slow -- making progress is wonderful!

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