May 11th, 2012

ppbk cover

How To Love Revising!

Something miraculous has happened.... I am loving revising my work-in-progress. ME! -- a first-draft-loving pantser, who has been known to despise revising. Not this time.

I think it's partly because I stopped trying to read the manuscript through someone else's eyes. And so the work I'm doing is strengthening the story, making it whole.

Some people write too much and then have to carve away the excess, like a sculptor. But for me, revision is often more about deepening, layering, enriching. And I am loving it. I feel excited for my story and my characters, as more and more pieces fit together and the logic of the story world clicks into place.

I'm also loving it because I stopped seeing it as something other than real work, and because I have thrown myself into it wholeheartedly. I've been in that delightful stage where the world of the story walks through my day with me, whispering little secrets, bits and pieces that long to be told.

"You must be so disciplined," people sometimes say to me, "to be your own boss and get your work done." Discipline has nothing to do with it. Because I am enjoying every minute -- even the hard, stuck ones. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing (except, of course, lying on a beach.) For those hours of the day when my husband is at work and my kids are at school, I play, focused with body and mind, engaged with heart and soul.

The manuscript has become a friend whom I am tending with loving care, readying it to be sent out into the world -- zipping up its jacket and double-knotting its shoelaces, doing all I can to prepare it so it faces the world whole and complete.

All in the hope that some editor will adore it and start me on a path to revising it all over again :)

Happy revising!