Monday, July 6, 2009

I Revised Today

I realize the title implies that there are days on which I don't revise and, shame on me, but it's true. Unfortunately, there are many, and I don't really have anyone to blame but myself. (Which is really too bad. I hate having to admit responsibility for things like that.) The Little One still takes a two-hour nap, I stay up a good two hours after The Wife goes to bed, I've got lots of time. The problem is two-fold.

First fold: It's summer and during the summer I really like to waste my days. This isn't something I like admitting. For most of the school year I look forward to the summer and I think about all the freedom I'll have and all of the things I'll do. Then, when summer arrives, I realize most of those things cost money and it's kind of too hot out and there's a golf tournament on TV that might be sort of, kind of, maybe interesting, so I end up on the couch and before I know it, the day's over and I'm watching a COPS marathon at one in the morning and not only have I not done anything, I haven't written anything either. (Except maybe an exceptionally witty blog post.)

Second fold: I hate my story. There. Said it. Now, I haven't always hated my story, and I'm still holding out hope that someone else might not hate my story as much as me. In fact, I sometimes recall liking my story and I think that, just maybe, someone else will like it too. Here's what I tell myself: I say, "Self, if you read the greatest book ever written, say, Sophomore Undercover fifty times, you would probably hate it too. [Gasp!]" So I'm hoping that the dread that envelops me like a suffocating mist every time I even think about opening up the laptop is something all writers who've reread and reread and reread their stories experience. If not, I'm screwed.

But like I was saying, today I revised. Ass in the seat, as Linda Sue Park says. I still hated the story, but I did get some work done and now that I think every single word of the manuscript is pure, unadulterated crap, I'm really going by the revision letter to tell me what to fix because if I didn't I'd want to fix everything. Every. Single. Thing.

And soon, I'll be enlisting the help of some readers who have never read the book, so that should be helpful. Unless they hate it as much as me, of course.

But never fear, loyal readers, I will complete the task. Stubbornness has its place and its place is in my fingertips. (Hey, that ain't half bad.)
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Weight Loss Update: 6 pounds (the Fourth of July weekend did not help)

7 comments:

Kelly said...

Summer pulls me away from most things productive. Though every few weeks(okay several weeks) I force myself to write or send away a few submissions. September will be here soon enough!

DebraLSchubert said...

I bet your book rocks. But, I know the feeling. I'm pretty sure I could repeat my current wip word for word, and I normally have a terrible memory.

BTW: There are worse things than watching COPS marathons. You could be watching Dancing With the Stars reruns. That would really blow.

Anita said...

I think you'll like your book a lot more when it gives you $ in your pocket. Which it will. Fer sure.

COPS marathons are actually therapy sessions...after watching one, I'm like, "Damn, I'm a pretty good person (as compared to the freaks on the show)."

P.S. I also hate my MS. It sucks, it really does.

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Don't hate... I think every writer experiences this at some point. Love it. Hate it. Then you'll love it again. Eventually. Especially when Secret Asian Man signs you up and starts sending it out to publishers. Then it will be on to another Love-Hate relationship for you. Sounds like fun, huh?

Jacqui said...

I am sure it is not crap. But I do think pure and utter hatred of one's manuscript (and, by extension, one's self) is a key part of the revision process.

Indigo said...

Summer days are automatic distractions. There is some cardinal rule somewhere stating that as actually fact (winks).

I think all writers have that initial love/hate relationship with their books. I loved the story line I was working on all the way through the first short draft. Now on the longer draft having to fill in history, facts, substance eh...not so much.

Could be because the main premise of the book is already there, the rest is filler. (Hugs)Indigo

Monica said...

awww, PMM. I'm sure its not crap. I bet it's really good. (as good as sophomore undercover? maybe not, but what is). I'm sure you're right, that every writer goes through what you're going through. Revision has got to be the most difficult, mind numbing part of the process (tho i wouldnt know for sure, i'm not even halfway to that point yet.) You're a creative intelligent guy. It'll come.