Notes from the Revision Wars

Today, I had one of those soul crushing battles with my writing. I’d been editing this book for 5 weeks. When I finished the micro edits done on a chapter by chapter basis, I felt like I had a stronger more cohesive story. I had confidence in myself.

I figured all I needed was a quick macro edit.

Until I moved onto the macro 100 pages at a time edits.

There is so much I found that required further reworking. I’m a week behind schedule because I never anticipated it could be this bad.

I started to question my editing, my intuition, my writing.

I had that moment of do I suck at this and somehow I convinced myself I’m good at it? Like the 500 lb woman who goes out in leggings and thinks they flatter her figure.

OMG, am I in deep denial?!

I stopped and did laundry. Anything to get Ms. Negativity away from my manuscript.

But I don’t have the luxury of a break. I have 130 more pages to edit before my pitch slam in 2 weeks.

And I have to prep for the conference. So I’m going to have to power through this swamp of self doubt.

Maybe they aren’t as bad as I thought. Hopefully they won’t require burning to cleanse the house of their foulness.




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12 Responses to Notes from the Revision Wars

  1. Novel Girl says:

    I’ll let you have self-doubts for 5 mins — even that’s generous.

    Okay, done? Now remember what a feat it is to write a MS and edit it over and over. Believe in yourself and imagine how proud outsiders are of you.

    P.s. good luck with the pitch slam.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    You CAN do this! Aspiring-want-to-be-published writers like me know what you’re feeling. More importantly, every successfully published author knows what you’re feeling.

    Remember the positive feedback you’ve gotten on your work. Remember that every successful individual goes through periods of self-doubt. (Writers just seem to suffer more than others from this affliction.)

    Take a deep breath, do another load of laundry if you need to, but keep going. Whatever happens at the conference will help you make this work the best it can be.

    Hang in there – and remember the joy of telling the story while you edit.

    • Thanks JM. I really needed to hear that. Writing is such an extreme emotion sport. One day I think it’s absolutely brilliant, the next I wonder why I’d torture someone with reading it. 🙂

      I don’t think I’ll burn any pages. ;P Some are great and some are good, but none stink anymore. So that’s progress.

      It helped to push through the next 120 pages to the end. I remembered how much I love the end of my book and the beginning. There’s just that pesky middle that needed a ton of work.

  3. Admittance is the first step. 😉 Go, Kourtney, go! Can’t wait to hear how the pitch slam goes.

    • That made me laugh August. With my first book I made the mistake of thinking things were good enough. On my second, I’ve become my own worst critic the second I put on the self editing cap. But it’s all for the sake of a better book.

      Very excited about Pitch Slam, I did it last year for my first novel and got several requests. This year they added another hour so it’s 3 hours of getting in line for 90 seconds of pitching. Hoping I get to 10-12 agents.

  4. Marc Schuster says:

    I agree with everyone else’s comments. Stay positive. Don’t panic. Also, don’t worry if the manuscript isn’t perfect in advance of Pitch Slam. What matters there is the pitch! When an agent expresses interest, you can still take a little more time to polish the manuscript.

    • Thanks Marc! I’m going to pause on the panic and try a little optimism like you said. I think I just bit off a bit too much. I’m doing back to back conferences Jan 20-22 and Jan 27-29 for separate books. I need one manuscript perfect so I can take the weeks after the conferences to perfect the other one if it gets requested. Unfortunately/fortunately, my editing skills made a huge leap this fall from an online editing course and now I see so much more than I could before. I’ve been working on the pitch since November and organizing my spreadsheet of agents to pitch to as well.

  5. berry says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. The more u look the more u find. Just read it and enjoy your work of art. It is a treasure. Writing is not easy. You have a flair for it. Be happy with it.

    • Thanks Berry. I guess I’m trying to compensate for how tough it is to break into publishing. I think if I write the best possible manuscript I’m giving my work a shot at publication. So I want to find stuff. But it’s overwhelming to keep finding stuff. Trying to get published is the hardest thing I’ve ever undertaken. I wrote for myself for a couple years. But that’s not enough for me anymore. I love writing. But sometimes it doesn’t love me back. 🙂

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