Revisions Are Like Finals

When I was in college, I was a good student.  I studied often and I studied hard.  And I had the good grades to show for it.  I wasn’t known for procrastinating (I never really was and the one occasion I did–the Invention Convention in the 8th grade when I waited until the night before–it totally came back to bite me in the butt, more from stress than end result because I actually won 3rd place, but I digress).  But whenever finals week rolled around, it was like a switch got flipped in me.

My creative juices started flowing.  My neat freak gene kicked in.  And I never wanted to study.  Usually didn’t.  I was writing on some Sexy Next Book and cleaning my apartment from top to bottom.  Trying out new recipes.  Doing anything and everything BUT studying for finals.  It was the hard thing to do and therefore my brain was way more interested in doing anything else.  And fortunately all of my studying the REST of the semester meant that I could actually get away with this and still get my A.

I’ve decided that revisions are much the same.  Because now that I’ve hit this final stretch of revisions with Riven, my brain is starting to resemble a creative squirrel on crack.  I’ve worked on 3 different toolkits for 3 different books in the last two weeks.  5 of them since I started revisions in the first place.  And that’s cool because it’s nice to revisit some of these projects I haven’t worked on in a while, to see what’s been cooking on the backburner of my brain since last time.   But writing isn’t like studying.  All my previous work on this book isn’t going to be enough to get me through while I go work on other stuff.  I’ve still got to sit down and put in the work.

I’ve been stuck on the same scene for the better part of a week.  Last night I decided that the scene needed to go.  The base concept is probably fine, but the execution isn’t doing it for me.  So I tossed it.  Hoped to wake up this morning with a clearer idea of what needs to take its place.

Yeah, about that…

Probably for my writing block tonight I’m going to jump on to the next scene and keep pushing forward because I know what comes next, how it needs to change.  And maybe as I do that, it’ll come clearer what needs to be done with this stubborn scene.

One thought on “Revisions Are Like Finals

  1. Like taking any test — when you can’t answer one question, go on to the next then when you reach the end go back through the questions you skipped. I got a lot of As that way.

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