Monday, November 23, 2009

My Love\Hate Relationship with Revisions

I hate doing revisions. It's true. You know why? I wrote my entire manuscript from start to finish in about two and a half months. I have been revising it for... six months? Maybe more than that. I've lost track. Let me be very clear on this ~ I don't despise editing because I think it's not needed or a waste of my time. On the contrary, I'm a perfectionist and I keep seeing more and more that needs to be fixed and feel as if I will never be finished fixing it. It's like doing laundry one load a day for a family of sixteen. You just know you'll never catch up and you sense yourself falling behind a little more each day.

I feel like that sometimes with my relationship to God too. Will I ever be good enough? I seem to constantly fail and falter when I want to be good, pure and strong. Other people don't always understand what a struggle it is to remain positive when you're in pain nearly every minute of the day. I've had lectures on how if only I had enough faith, if only I would pray longer, harder, in the right way... God would heal me.

It hurts when people say that to me. I don't think they realize how it hurts or how many times I've prayed to be healed ~ how much time I spent on my knees begging for Him to take away the fibro (and other things that harass me) only to be encouraged to continue on because my problems pale in comparison with those facing cancer and heart disease. I know I can handle this burden with His help.

Revisions won't kill me either. As a matter of fact, I've been so inspired the last couple days. I'd been mired and muddled in my thinking and wasn't making any progress. Suddenly a clear vision of what I needed to do with the book came to me (I also got another idea for a whole different manuscript). I've been working steadily on my revisions since then. I get ideas about the book and characters all the time now. Maybe I had to run into a brick wall to open up the floodgate of ideas, I don't know. I just wish it happened sooner. :o)

I also want to share something else. I may not jump up and down with joy about doing revisions myself, but I can't wait to get back my manuscript from my editor with her edits - or comments from my critique partner. Those are the highlights of my day. I love to get them because I know they are going to help make the story better if I take their suggestions. It is so nice to have someone else look at it from another point of view. They see things I miss because I picture the story in my head and assume everyone else can as well. I may get frustrated at myself for making the same mistakes over and over again, but that doesn't stop me from wanting their fixes.

So I enjoy their edits. The importance of good editing has been discussed a lot lately on various blogs and writing groups. I agree wholeheartedly. I don't know what kind of book I'd have without my editor and critique partner. I also had readers give me comments as well. I think that kind of feedback is invaluable.

The big deal lately is self and vanity publishing. I think the business of publishing is changing. So many small, independent houses are opening up... lots of writers are turning to self publishing when their books don't fit the guidelines of the traditional publishers... All I can say is authors who are considering self or vanity publishing should contemplate what is being offered very carefully and weigh that against whether or not they are willing to pay extra for competent and complete editorial assistance because I think it's so necessary for a good book.


  1. Hi Lee,
    Just wanted to tell you that I understand you pain level. I do know that it is hard for others to understand especially because we don't look "sick". I'm in my edit phase of my WIP also, and it is very frustrating. I might just put mine aside for a while. Of course, I've said that several times lately, but keep going back to it. LOL
    Deborah M.

  2. I feel just like you do when editing...will it ever end! You might like to try the AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It saves me a ton of time and finds things I've missed in a dozen read-thrus!