Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Woes of Revision (and Finding the Time to be a Writer)

Honey, if only you would stop being so cute and sweet,
I could get some things accomplished!  (Seriously, can
I really complain about this?)

I’m in the revision process.  The first revision.  And this is my first novel.  So yeah, I’m a bit overwhelmed for two reasons: 1) I have a full time job which is turning out to be more of a time commitment than I initially believed and a husband who likes spending time with me and is quite frankly, a bit jealous of my time at the computer, and 2) the first draft was 100,000 words and I still haven’t decided if it’s two novels or one! 

Based on advice I’ve heard from publishers, it is best not to write a series – especially for a new author.  The one book should be a complete story and if it happens to do well, then maybe a sequel can be planned.  With this in mind, I have cut 10,000 words already from the book, which is quite a feat (and I’m a bit proud of this, actually), but ANOTHER 10,000 words? Yikes!

In some ways, this is a very enjoyable part of the process.  I get to work out the kinks.  I get to use those suspense-building techniques I’ve been reading about and try the formulas recommended (I know, formulas!  Crazy, right?)  However, some days I want to bang my head on the table because the project seems so immense and insurmountable. 

Number 1 is my biggest obstacle.  People say, get up earlier.  I get up at 5 a.m. and work on schoolwork (or occasionally vent on my blog).  Plus, if I start writing before school, I won’t want to stop.  I hate to be interrupted.  It puts me in a terrible mood. 

People say, stay up later.  Write in the evenings or at night.  I am neurotic.  Besides the fact that my husband wants my attention in the evenings, writing before bed doesn’t work either because then, I don’t sleep.  I stew.  I can’t stop thinking about the book. 

As for weekends, well, that has been my only time and even then, commitments infringe upon that time.  It’s frustrating.  It’s discouraging. 

Sometimes, right after school, I pull out my computer and try to crank through a page or two, but it just doesn’t seem like enough time. 

So, what’s the answer?  More hours in the day?  A simpler life?  I wish. 

Someone give me advice, please. 


Morgan said...

You just have to find what works for you. If nothing looks like it'll work, you might have to give everything (on different days) and see which works best.
Getting up early worked best for me, but I wasn't getting up at 5 (I set my alarm at 6:30 instead of 7:30).

It sounds like you should keep writing after school, and see if you can extend the time as long as possible. You could ask your husband to give you an hour or so without any interruption to write, and after you'll give him your undivided attention.

Good luck :)

Brooke said...

Hey girl! Hang in there...I can only imagine how frustrating it can be. But, trying different times and seeing where you can fit it in is a good suggestion.

Its tough to find time to do the things we love to do...because we know we will instantly be absorbed in them. But, even those small chunks after school will add up!

I'm so proud of you for continuously working on that awesome it is that you are at the revision stage!

Take care!

BreiW said...

Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I will try experimenting with different times. I think staying for about an hour after school is feasible and I'm really going to set a three to four hour time block on Saturday and Sunday as often as possible (longer if possible!).

I can DO this! :) Thanks, again!