Revising: My Self-Esteem Tilt-A-Whirl

This is what each chapter looks like when I start the revision process.

Eek. All I can see is what is wrong. What isn’t working. What was lazy writing.

I berate myself. I debate whether I suck at writing. And I get that completely-overwhelmed-by-the-task-ahead feeling.

That’s just during the first read through. Where I kill a red pen on my draft.

I’m on chapter 16 and I suddenly realize this happens with every chapter. LOL.

Suddenly, I see it as part of the process I’ve been going through these past six weeks.

Each chapter requires several rounds of edits before I’m satisfied.

Weirdly enough, the most important part may be the breaks between paper edits and typing edits to the draft.

The walk-away time seems to improve the edits exponentially. Because as I read, I identify problem areas, but I don’t always have a handle on what the problem is. Or a clue about how to fix it.

So while I’m practicing Chinese, drafting a blog post, or doing my chores, my mind keeps attacking it.

And then I come back to revise with all sorts of great ideas. And by the time I’m on my second or third run through the chapter, I’m almost impressed with myself.

I give myself a golf clap. Maybe I am a rockstar writer after all. Guess I was a little hard on myself.

But the seal of approval comes when my betas readers tell me what they loved and hated. What worked and didn’t. Then I know the chapter is good.

So I’m revising 30 or so pages a week. Which puts me on page 163 of 350 today. And gives me a self-esteem til-a-whirl ride 3 times a week (once for each chapter edited).

How do you revise your draft?

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4 Responses to Revising: My Self-Esteem Tilt-A-Whirl

  1. berry says:

    I read it over and over. Have others read it. Hate it then love it. Sometimes I burn copy then I feel better. Then I start again. Oh what a writer must endure.

    • I read it until I hate it sometimes. LOL. Then I walk away. It’s a tough life with lots of highs and lows but it’s so much better than anything else I’ve tried. 🙂

  2. Tracy Costa says:

    You are not the only one who kills a red pen on the first read-through, baby. And, btw, you totally ARE a rockstar writer. I am ITCHING to get my hands on your draft. The first chapter was off the hook, I am sure that you will get the rest of it up there.

    As for how I do it, well, this edit I am looking for plot/sequencing and pacing holes, trying to see it as a whole instead of chapter by chapter, so I guess I will figure out whether or not it’s the right way to go when my betas get their hands on it.

    • Glad to hear you’re killing red pens too. Thanks for the super kind words. Coming from a fellow writer it means a lot!

      I think that’s a good method. You have to keep the big picture in mind so you don’t have 2 dozen great chapters that don’t always meld together. 🙂

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