After a few days of no writing or revising – not even a peek into a file – today was the day to start revising Book 3. I’ve been excited to get back to Alexis and Tristan’s world after six weeks in the world of the novella and I
made allowed myself a break over the weekend, upping the can’t-wait-to-get-started factor. I expected to bound out of bed this morning, too excited to sleep and ready to get to work.
Except I couldn’t. I awoke and just lay there, wondering what on earth I was supposed to do. I drew a total blank on the revision process. I’ve been thinking all along that I need to start by simply printing it out so I can read through the story – the plot – without editing the writing along the way. But, for some reason, that made no sense to me this morning. I already know some parts that need to come out and others that need to be developed better. Why waste the paper and toner now?
So I thought about just diving in. Open the file and get to work. But that made no sense either. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on this project. I’ve never read it start to finish. I don’t really know the story as a whole – not well enough to know what parts should be moved around, what’s been repeated, what’s not necessary.
I felt so lost. I felt like a writer-baby who’d never done this in her life. Was this reviser’s block? Is there such a thing?
If there is, the answer to overcoming it is the same as overcoming writer’s block. Just do it. Do something. Get started. Once you get going, it eventually comes to you. It’s physics – an object in motion stays in motion and one that’s not in motion…well, isn’t doing anything (very scientific there, I know – brownies in place of cookies, please).
Whether writing or revising, we have to put ourselves in motion. We have to type out some words or scrawl them in a notebook. We have to simply start reading and thinking about the story and how to make it better. At some point, momentum builds and we overcome that block. We get down to business. And before we know it, we’re on our way to accomplishing great things.
Well…I don’t know if I’m on my way to the great things just yet, but I did finally get started today. I decided to stick with the plan and print it out and read through it. This phase of the revision process allows me to absorb the entire story and make notes on what needs to be changed, only focusing on plot right now. Reading it on paper prevents me from actually changing anything yet, because there’s no point in rewriting something that might not be there next week.
I just had to make the decision to do something and then put myself in motion by starting to read. Once I started to read the first couple paragraphs, I knew what I needed to do and the momentum has built. So…I’m off to do some more reading and scribbling.
How do you overcome writer’s block? Have you ever had reviser’s block?