Struggling to revise

Revision is tough. I’ve done very little over the last week, couldn’t write at all for four days. Felt bad. Tried to be positive. Did not work.

I’d decided to aim for a target of 10,500 words to be revised every week and I’m not making that target. My aim was to complete the second draft in eight weeks but it’s not working out and I’m feeling a bit, more than a bit, de-motivated this weekend. I’m supposed to be at 31,000 by now and have only 25,000 worked on.

It’s a catch between – do I need a break or is the section I’m working on boring me senseless?

I decided that the idea was still sound and I needed a break. So I got four days and three walks in. Did loads of reading, a painting and free-writing. And telly and cooking and housework and general sorting out of things that should have been done if I wasn’t writing.

What did I get done since my break? Well, six pages of notes later and I suppose I did get two chapters written more the way I wanted them to be, new scenes added to reinforce one of the sub-plots and loads deleted and re-written. Revision is so gut-wrenchingly ruthless; cutting good writing because it doesn’t do its job. But when a chapter is revised and pulls the plot along properly, it really sings!

I’m not making my target but at least the chapters feel better written. I’ll tackle the next one tomorrow. Make a dent in it. Literally.

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2 thoughts on “Struggling to revise

  1. Ah, I hate targets. I just can’t write like that – it’s always possible to write ‘something’ but there will always be days when it doesn’t flow (and I’ve been writing for decades). My writing output depends on work load, weather, what my wife’s up to, general mood – and sometimes just because an idea needs to stew.
    If I sit down for a writing session then I try for a minimum of 500 words and am happy when I get over 1,000. But I’ve learnt not to get stressed when it doesn’t happen. There will be days when I write 3,000 words but also plenty when I struggle to reach 30.
    Keep at it but don’t get hung up on targets. Write because you enjoy it.

    • Thanks for the reality check. I use the targets because I’m a procrastinator. I started towards the end of last year and found that it gets bum on seat (most days) when I have a rough weekly target to aim for. Else before that I wasn’t getting as much writing done (very, very little). Daily amounts do fluctuate from zero to 2k. So I’ll try anything to keep the writing going. Lia.

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