Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Insecure Writer and the Slow Pace of Revising

Today is February's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an Insecure Writer this month?

Time. And the way it slips away from me.

If you read my last post, you’ll know I spent nearly all of January stuck on a revision of one of my early chapters. Four freaking weeks! All spent on a chapter that had already been through multiple revisions. Argggh!

I suppose I could have moved on to some other less challenging part of the book for a while, but I’d promised that chapter to a CP and I was bound and determined not to do anything else until I’d fixed the problems – or at least enough of them that I didn’t feel guilty sending it to him.

The worst part is that this is not an uncommon occurrence for me. I may fly through 80-90% of a chapter with no problem, but it’s that last 10-20% that can stop me cold. It’s like I hit a brick wall, and staring at those darn pages for weeks at a time just sucks the life right out of me. And skipping to an easier section doesn’t solve the problem either – it only pushes it back. At some point I’m going to have to fix that troublesome spot, and only the slow, brute force method of trying sentences over and over again is going to work.

And that’s when the weeks begin to add up.

I already have limited amount of time to write. If this keeps up, I’ll be lucky to finish a book every decade.

Argggh indeed!


  1. This is exactly why it's more fun to revise your work than mine. I'm adding up the time and wondering if I'll ever publish a book of my own. Also the reason I started editing. Which reminds me I didn't get to your last chapter over the weekend because I hadn't finished an editing client's formatting yet. I think I'll go read your chapter now while I'm waiting for him to return the ISBN for his ebook to me. Oh, wait. I have to finish a graphic first. Arggh!

  2. Time management is vitally important, especially if we want to get anything done. Take a deep breath and let go already. Maybe do some yoga or stretching exercises or something...