Monday, April 15, 2013

Post Vacation-itis: Or Creatively Avoiding Revisions

I just returned from a lovely visit to White Rock, British Columbia where I spent a week shopping, watching movies, hanging out with my best friend since forever-ago, and giggling at nothing and everything.

Writing was not on the agenda. Other than the flight out to Seattle, I took a break from my usually strong writing schedule. And that's a good thing--I needed it in loads of ways. However, now that I'm home from my fantastic getaway, I am having trouble getting my brain out of creative home decorating and clothes shopping mode.

That's rare for me, but it does occur. Oh, I've thought about the current story I'm revising. I've discussed it with my CP on the phone. I've made a few notes. But I didn't open the document in question until yesterday. Then I looked at it and thought: ugh, it needs SO MUCH WORK before it is where I want it to be as a story.

Yah. Love my process. I go through many stages. The Thrill of First Draft Writing is often followed by the Avoidance Stage of Revision and then I go deep into the Rebellion Stage of Revision.

The Rebellion Stage of Revision is often accentuated with a "I just submitted a story again, and now I am Obsessively Compulsively having a Love-Hate Relationship with my email in-box." My mind is very distracted; filled with memories of lazy and fun days as well as wondering and worrying about the current submission's fate.

I go through a "why am I doing this to myself when I could be decorating the house or shopping for cute clothes or playing with my friends" stage. Usually I push out of it very quickly, but I had the joy of being "normal" for a week and it's hard to force myself to get back into the process of revising.

How will I combat this Rebellion Stage? The usual way. Creative Avoidance. I'll read my CP's pages and critique them first. I'll catch up on all my writing organization volunteer duties (which are minimal, but still require my attention). Then I'll rework my quarterly goals (it's that time again) as well as straighten out the office. Finally, I'll tiptoe back into the story I currently think is in serious need of a intravenous injection of life.

Baby steps. Yesterday I opened the document and peeked at it. Today I will start layering and incorporating some of the notes I made about the story's direction into the main document. Soon I'll be operating on my normal schedule. By the end of the week I expect I'll be finished the first three chapters and will send them off to my CP.

I set a deadline for everything. Sometimes the deadlines shift due to circumstances or other demands, but in general I meet them. Oh, this blog post? Yes. It's another way of creatively avoiding my revisions.

How do you bust through Revision Rebellion?


Patricia Bradley said...

I know your pain. For me it's the first draft that I want to avoid. But I keep telling myself I can't rewrite what I haven't written. Great tips.

Christine said...

I like that one, too, Patricia. I can fix a badly written page, but it's not always easy. But persistence will pay off in the end.

Wrestling the manuscript into shape LOL.


Aidee Ladnier said...

I feel your pain. I've taken the advice to heart about letting your manuscript rest after the first draft and then a year later, it's still sitting all rumpled in it's first draft glory in the same folder. My favorite way of avoiding revisions--starting another first draft.