Up until now there were very few occasions where writing felt like honest drudge work. The first draft is always a thrill for me- getting to know my characters and being surprised at the twists and turns as my story takes on a life of its own.
The first, second, third and fourth round revisions aren’t so bad. I’m still passionate about the story and focused on making it the best it can be.
I love receiving feedback, weighing my options and finding solutions to obvious problems.
In short, the ‘honeymoon phase’ pushes me through until I have something ready to pitch to agents.
But eventually, if you read enough blogs written by published writers- they all say the same thing. At some point, writing becomes honest to goodness WORK.
Finding that perfect balance, after testing and tweaking things a million times (but it still isn’t quite right) becomes about as fun as solving a really hard math problem.
The honeymoon period is totally over. The passion is gone and your manuscript feels like it’s put on 100 pounds and started vegging out in front of the TV. It doesn’t speak to you anymore. So it’s up to you to carry both sides of the conversation.
On one hand, you think the relationship might be over for good- after all, how can you possibly work like a mad-woman on something you’re no longer passionate about?
But then I realized, as the words no longer tugged at my emotions- that they became just words. Easier to remove. Easier to identify as flowing or not. And even more easy to replace with something better.
When you’ve spent enough time with your characters and finally take a step back, they become more transparent. You made them the way they are. You can change them. They aren’t set in stone. You could have written them differently from the beginning.
Yes it’s work. Yes, it’s not fun. But sometimes the ‘real work’ is the best and most gratifying work you’ll ever do.
What makes you drudge through revisions when the magic is gone? Do you find it’s harder or easier to make effective changes when you are officially sick of your own words? How do you stay motivated?
***PS-I have MISSED you guys so much! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and it’s great to be back after my two week hiatus! Can’t wait to catch up!***