Friday, March 18, 2011

Overcoming the revision blues

I love being a writer. I love the creativity; the ability to create new things. Currently though I’m in revision mode on two projects. I’m revising my non-fiction, that will come out this summer and my YA fantasy. I really don’t care for revising. Sometimes I get tired of rereading my own work. I feel like I’ve lost that joy of the craft. Is this sounding familiar? Many writers fall into the revision blues. Through the last several months I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me.

1. Don’t be afraid to outline a new project. It never fails. When I’m in intense revision mode I get the best ideas. These ideas may tempt me to abandon my revisions and start a new project. I do not do that knowing that it would not help my overall goals but I’m not afraid to still embrace the new idea. I think that by outlining new ideas it gets me excited to continue on the revisions. I know that the sooner I get done with revisions, the sooner I jump into the new project.

2. Take time to read. Get back to one of the reasons that you love to write. By reading I keep the joy in he craft. It may be tedious going through revisions but by reading some great books it reminds me that I’m not alone. All great authors must revise. They got through it, so will I. Plus I find that reading just relaxes me.

3. Take breaks. Yes, sometimes I feel that I just need to stay in front of the computer all day in order to get the work done but I know that not taking a break will result in poor work quality. At least for me. I need time to unwind. When I’m deep in revision mode I make a point to record shows to watch. I break to watch something or read every few hours. This helps me to stay focused. It is possible to overwork yourself and if I do that then my revisions will not be of the work that I want them to be.

4. Switch projects. As a writer of multiple genres, I switch up my projects. By doing this I never get bored or tired of any one project. Ideally I’d like to be revising a project while writing another project. However, this time that didn’t work out as I’m revising my two major projects. But I remain fresh by having the two to switch back and fourth from.

5. Exercise. Yes, I’ve found that exercise helps me to stay focused. I also feel better when I make time to workout. Now sometimes when I’m in deep revision mode I skimp on the full workout. That’s fine as long as I make time for something. I do crunches during commercials when watching TV. I always watch the news every morning so this allows me to do that and still fit in some exercise.

6. Listen to music. I have found that working to music really helps me. I've become a fan of soundtracks and trailer music. I try to listen to music that matches the scenes that I'm revising. When listening to something from 'Two Steps From Hell' I can't stop working! I feel like I have to finish revising the chapter and I'll save the world by doing so! Yes, maybe I'm a little dramatic but it's great to find a great music to keep you going.

What do you do to combat the revision blues? When revising its challenging to remain fresh and alert. At least it is that way for me. But from these tips I’ve found that I’ve become a better reviser. My work is better and I’m on my way to meeting my deadlines while look forward to tackling a new project soon. For Friday I posted below one of the 'Two Steps From Hell' songs that I love to work to. I find it inspiring. I hope you enjoy it and Happy Friday!

Share your advice for revising in a comment below. How do you stay focused while revising?

1 comment:

  1. I wish I would have read this on Monday. I spent my entire spring break working on revisions. I could have used some of these suggestions.

    I have found that doing something "mindless" like folding laundry or throwing the tennis ball for the dog helps.