Tuesday, 16 November 2010

What the flip is wrong with me???

Me during revisions:
Man this book is going to be more than awesome after these revisions.

Shit! How did I come up with such a cool metaphor? You're rockin' it sistah!

Hmm, yeah, it's ok, but I know you can do better than that. Read the last paragraph you wrote.

What's wrong with me? Was that paragraph just a one-hit-wonder? Why can't you put the same magic into every paragraph. Try again. NOW!

Nup. This is useless. I'm kidding myself. I can't work this magic for the WHOLE book. Shit.

*starts to cry*

*receives email from best critique partner in the whole wide world*

It reads:
Jessica. Oh.my.God. I just read your revised chapter one. And it is CRYSTAL CLEAR why Janice extended you a contract. Crystal! Holy shit. ... It's all so beautifully expressed. Your writing, it's gorgeous.

*I prick my shoulders up in pride and stop crying*

Man this book is going to be way more than awesome after these revisions.

Holy cow! How did I come up with such a cool simile? You're mega rockin' it sistah!

Hmm, yeah, not bad, but I know you can do better than that. Read the last couple of paragraphs you wrote.

What the flip is wrong with me? Were those couple of paragraphs just flukes? Where's the magic gone? Try again! NOW!

Nup. This is pathetic. I'm fooling myself. This sucks. Shit.

*slams hand on desk and hurts self*

Nicole? Can you send me another ego-boosting email? Yeah, every two days should be fine. Ta! :o)


How do you feel when you're revising? Do you put yourself on an emotional rollercoaster too?

Heads-up: Tomorrow I will be doing a joint post with published author Karen Gowen about page-turning vs. prose-savoring. And Thursday I'm going to be interviewed by the rockstar Matthew Rush over at his blog QQQE.

41 comments:

  1. Hey, come on, Jessica. You never thought you would be able to live in Greece at some point, I am sure.
    You can do this, this is your dream.

    Breathe, that's right. Breathe-in-out. You can do it! What am I saying? *slaps hand on forehead* YOU HAVE DONE IT! x

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  2. Jessica, I have complete faith in you. Get off the rollercoaster. Think of a sailboat. The wind is your muse. (But a gentle kind of wind, not that Hurricane Melody kind of wind.)

    There will be lots of days between now and the time you hold your book in your hands. It's not a race. Like Glynis said, You have done it, you can do it again. Just listen to what Melody is saying and feeling.

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  3. I SO feel you. I've been pushing through mine over the last 2 weekends (WITH carpal tunnel) and every couple of pages I re-read back and think the same things. Then I whine, decide I'm not good enough, email someone, eat something and sit back down to type.

    I repeat this process until all revisions are complete :)

    Because we're writers. The whole process is hard. If it weren't, everyone would do it. We persevere, and in the end, will be stronger because of it.

    At least that's what I tell myself while I'm in this revision-type-hell...

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  4. The first draft is always the most difficult for me - just getting the concept on paper. Revisions are where it becomes fun! I enjoy rereading my work and envisioning better twists and words. Think of it in terms of making a bed - revisions is where you smooth out the wrinkles.

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  5. Holy cow! How did you come up with such a cool simile? You're mega rockin' it sistah! ;p

    Push through Jessica!! I know you can do it:)

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  6. I don't think there is anything wrong with some parts of a novel being "better" than others. If every single paragraph were as beautiful and lyrical as the last it would get kind of boring. Things have to build, and then die back down again.

    Just let each paragraph be the best that IT can be. It doesn't have to be the best ever. It can be tough to be okay with though, I hear you.

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  7. I'm just hoping I didn't pour all my magic into my first book!
    Just do your best, move on, and come back to it later. You'll see it in a whole new light then.

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  8. Rollercoaster of emotions pretty well sums it up. It's normal...just remember you've done it, you can do it. And build-up emails from your betas every other day don't hurt!

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  9. Sometimes, just walking away for a bit brings the magic back.

    You can do this!

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  10. Oh my, I do this to myself *all* the time, even while drafting. I cringe when I have to go back and edit bit by bit. Then I get into it and think 'maybe this isn't so bad' and then I jump down a page or two and hit some awful blah pointless part of the story and beat myself up all over again...
    Is there no cure?

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  11. *Thinking of a sail boat* Lucky Press is super supportive!

    Revisions are such a rollercoaster. I'm up and down constantly... currently I'm a downward slope.

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  12. I can promise you many more encouraging emails, for every time that sailboat Janice talks about needs a little gust of wind. Write on mega rocker writer!

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  13. sounds like you are putting too much stress on yourself. Just let yourself go, you never see the gem you write until you read it later.

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  14. Sounds perfectly normal to me. Just try to enjoy the ups, and tolerate the downs. You'll get there. :)

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  15. Been there. Done that. I think we just have to accept that as writers we're always going to be a bit neurotic.

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  16. Hang in there. Anyone creating something will have peaks and valleys. Knowing how to survive the low points and manage the high points will make the journey satisfying.

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  17. Revisions are a rollar coaster ride. It certainly helps to have a supportive crit partner, though.

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  18. I'm sure everything will turn out well.

    Yvonne.

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  19. I am so with you on this, sista. Yesterday. For example. Something bad happened, really bad. I was in tears. BUT right after that something good followed. We need those ego-boosting emails.

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  20. Oh yes. YES!I so hear you. I go through that all the time, too! And particularly now, with the book in the hands of actual readers (not to mention writers)! I feel like I've morphed into a needy clingy writer who constantly needs reassurance!

    But - keep the faith. You are a fantastic writer with bags of talent and you can do it! One step at a time.

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  21. You are going to do it and do it well. I believe. You do rock! Now go on and rock some more.

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  22. Ok, it's scary how similar my revision state of mind resembles yours!
    Keep rickin it sistah!

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  23. Yes, Jessic, it can be a roller coaster of emotions, but as Lucky Press said, it doesn't have to be. Just do the best you can with each word, each sentence, each paragraph. Try not to second-guess yourself. Try not to judge, either negatively or positively what you've written. And try to enjoy the ride you are on.
    Karen

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  24. i think i suffer more from the rollercoaster during the first draft than i do during revisions.
    Either way, it sucks

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  25. omg, that was so me. In the revision I just sent back, by the time I'd finished my last polish, I had absolutely ZERO emotional response to the story. Jen saved my life by going all crazy over the MS... I was actually thinking of writing a post along those lines--gotta have friends~ :o)

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  26. Oh you are way too hard on yourself. :) Though, I wouldn't mind a little ego boosting from Nicole either.

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  27. I must agree with others, you are way too hard on yourself!
    (but in an oddly funny sort of way on here.) Good luck with your revisions. I'm sure every one word is going to be great!

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  28. LOL - I TOTALLY do this!! I'll write something new, revise in a (thinks) better way and smile and giggle and think, "This freaking rocks! I love it!" I'll read it a day later and think, "This is garbage. I totally suck." Fun times!! :)

    But, we keep at it because we love writing, right? It'll all be worth it in the end!

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  29. You can DO this! :D I know you can!

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  30. Oh yeah! I’m on a low right now. It’s a great time to check out blog posts!

    I'm sure it will all work out for you.

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  31. That pretty much sums up my mood changes while writing...so you're telling me it's just going to continue through revisions and ever after?

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  32. Don't despair. I sound almost exactly like that even down to the 'shit' parts.
    Keep going and remember familiarity breeds contempt. It's only that you've looked at it so much you think it's not quite up to par.

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  33. Yes, I ride that emotional roller coaster when revising a MS. Sometimes this happens because I place myself in the characters shoes and crazy things are happening. Other times I step back and think I've really got it this time, or I need to cut this section (after all this hard work) and out it in my JUNKYARD.

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  34. In the middle of revisions too and I so feel ya sistah! You'll get over the hump. You're a writer and that's just what we do.

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  35. LOL! Um, yeah, it's a roller coaster. Spot on.

    ;)

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  36. Self doubt can kill the strongest of writers at times. Trust your critique partner.

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