I’m back! (No, not to the blog. It’s Tuesday. I’m supposed to be here.) I’m back to my YA manuscript! Like really back. As in I’m not just opening Scrivener and running spell check while stressing about how I should be halfway through revisions by now.
The co-authored project is ready to be shipped off to those who requested it and I’m almost caught up on all the awesome beta reads I’ve been sent, so there’s really no excuse not to work on my own book.
What’s ironic is that you’d think having agents ask for part of my manuscript would kick me into overdrive in an effort to whip the book into shape, but the opposite happened. Yes, I had the co-authored project and its full request and it took up a lot of my time, but I can’t help but feel like I also threw myself into that book as an excuse not to work on my own story. I can now admit that somewhere deep inside I was paralyzed with fear.
I knew changes had to made, but the task seemed so daunting that I was afraid to even begin it. So I didn’t. Logical move, right? Because the best way to finish editing a book, baking a cake, climbing a mountain or rewatching all three seasons of Veronica Mars is not to even begin, right? (Yes, instead of starting revisions, I rewatched all three seasons of Veronica Mars…yet again.)
Sometimes writing is challenging — there are plot/pacing/voice/you name it issues. Sometimes stress gets in the way or you run into some technical difficulties. Other times, you let yourself be ruled by fear. For me, this fear was twofold:
- Fear of the huge task ahead of me (I have to revise a massive novel that requires tons of structural changes and rewrites.)
- Fear of failure (What if I work so, so hard on these chapters and still get rejected?)
But you know what? Despite these fears of mine, I had to two choices: revise or not. And it never once occurred to me to not revise. Because I want to write and that’s going to involve hellish revisions and plenty of rejections. That’s just the way writing it is.
This weekend I came to my senses and got started — and got a kitten to help me, as you can see. Now I’m in the groove: shredding backstory, cutting adverbs and persuading my characters to stop repeating each others’ names all the time.
Not revising was never an option. Just as not writing has never been an option.
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